Experiment 8 locating an epicenter answers

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Steps to Locating the Epicenter of an Earthquake

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experiment 8 locating an epicenter answers

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The different waves can be detected by sensitive instruments called seismographs. By using three or more seismographs, however, a scientist can triangulate a location.

Measure the difference in arrival times between the first shear s wave and the first compressional p wave, which can be interpreted from the seismogram. Multiply the difference by 8. Open the compass until the gap equals the calculated distance to the epicenter. Draw a circle on a world map, centered on the location of the first station. The epicenter can lie anywhere on this circle. Repeat the calculation process for the distance from the second seismograph station, and draw a circle of the calculated radius on the map, centered on that station.

This circle and the first will intersect at two points. The epicenter can be at either point. Repeat the calculation and drawing process for the third seismograph station. The three circles will meet at a common point, which is the epicenter. A seismograph is an instrument that measures ground movement continuously. A seismogram is the record, usually on paper, that a seismograph produces. In real life, scientists use many more than three seismograph records to locate an earthquake's epicenter.

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experiment 8 locating an epicenter answers

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After you complete Virtual Earthquake, check out the Geology Labs home page for activities about mineral and radiocarbon age dating, river discharge, and river flooding.

Virtual Earthquake will show you the recordings of an earthquake's seismic waves detected by instruments far away from the earthquake. The instrument recording the seismic waves is called a seismograph and the recording is a seismogram. The point of origin of an earthquake is called its focus and the point on the earth's surface directly above the focus is the epicenter.

You are to locate the epicenter of an earthquake by making simple measurement on three seismograms that will be sent to you by the Virtual Earthquake program. Additionally, you will be required to determine the Richter Magnitude of that quake from the same recordings.

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Richter Magnitude is an estimate of the amount of energy released during and earthquake. Upon completion of this activity you will be given the opportunity to receive a personalized Certificate as a "Virtual Seismologist. The actual certificate is much larger than the one displayed above.

Earthquake Epicenter Triangulation

Click on the Execute button below to start the Virtual Earthquake application. This work was supported in part by grants from the U. National Science Foundation. All opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NSF.See what's new with book lending at the Internet Archive.

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I have dreampt of bloudy turbulence, and this whole night hath nothing seen but shapes and forms.To figure out just where that earthquake happened, you need to look at your seismogram and you need to know what at least two other seismographs recorded for the same earthquake. You will also need a map of the world, a ruler, a pencil, and a compass for drawing circles on the map. One minute intervals are marked by the small lines printed just above the squiggles made by the seismic waves the time may be marked differently on some seismographs.

The distance between the beginning of the first P wave and the first S wave tells you how many seconds the waves are apart. This number will be used to tell you how far your seismograph is from the epicenter of the earthquake. You have just figured out how far your seismograph is from the epicenter and how strong the earthquake was, but you still don't know exactly where the earthquake occurred.

This is where the compass, the map, and the other seismograph records come in. Do the same thing for the distance to the epicenter that the other seismograms recorded with the location of those seismographs at the center of their circles.

All of the circles should overlap.

experiment 8 locating an epicenter answers

The point where all of the circles overlap is the approximate epicenter of the earthquake. Here's an example of a seismogram: Figure 1 - Our typical seismogram from before, this time marked for this exercise from Bolt, Figure 2 - Use the amplitude to derive the magnitude of the earthquake, and the distance from the earthquake to the station. Measure the distance between the first P wave and the first S wave. In this case, the first P and S waves are 24 seconds apart.

Find the point for 24 seconds on the left side of the chart below and mark that point.

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According to the chart, this earthquake's epicenter was kilometers away. Measure the amplitude of the strongest wave. The amplitude is the height on paper of the strongest wave. On this seismogram, the amplitude is 23 millimeters. Find 23 millimeters on the right side of the chart and mark that point. Place a ruler or straight edge on the chart between the points you marked for the distance to the epicenter and the amplitude. The point where your ruler crosses the middle line on the chart marks the magnitude strength of the earthquake.

This earthquake had a magnitude of 5. Figure 3 - The point where the three circles intersect is the epicenter of the earthquake. This technique is called 'triangulation. Check the scale on your map. It should look something like a piece of a ruler.


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