Where in the World are Earthquakes?


Where in the world are earthquakes? Have you ever stopped to think about that question? Do you even know what earthquakes are? Throughout the course of this WebQuest, you will begin to explore these questions and if you're lucky, you might just find some answers along the way. Make sure you have your note catcher along for the experience as we begin to answer the question: "Where in the world are earthquakes?" 


Welcome to your first day as a researcher at the Coriell Research Institute! Someone has made the claim in one of our research labs that there is no pattern as to where earthquakes occur. We are relying on you and only you to get to the bottom of this claim. At the Coriell Research Institute, we like to make sure that all of our claims are as factual as possible and this is where you come in. We need you to evaluate that claim and then provide evidence and reasoning about if it is true or not. Are you up for the challenge on your first day?

Work your way through this WebQuest to expand your understanding of earthquakes and where they occur in the world. Take your time to complete all of the activities and to answer the questions as they come up. Again, we are relying on you at Coriell Research Institue to find the answer. Our name and reputation are on the line. 


Task 1. Click on the link below to read an article to learn about earthquakes. 


Find the questions on your note catcher and answer them to the best of your abilities based on reading the article. 

Task 2. Click on the link below to go to the IRIS list of earthquakes from the last 30 days. 


Click "MAG" at the top of the chart twice. This will arrange the list of earthquakes from strongest to weakest. 

NOTE: A latitude of (+) corresponds to degrees North and a latitude of (-) corresponds to degrees South. A longitude of (+) corresponds to degrees East and a longitude of (-) corresponds to degrees West.

Your task is then to plot the first 20 earthquakes on the list using lines of latitude and longitude. For a review on plotting points, watch the YouTube below. 

After you plot the 20 earthquake locations, answer the questions below the map. 

Task 3. Compare your world map from Task 2 (where you plotted earthquakes) to the plate tectonics map included with Task 3. 

Answer the questions under the map to continue your quest for the answers you are looking for. 


Turn in your "Where in the World are Earthquake's?" Note Catcher to your teacher. This will be evaluated by other scientists at Coriell Research Institute. We appreciate your hard work and dedication to this company especially on your very first day of work! We will take into consideration your findings and will be in contact with you soon about the fate of our scientist who made the original claim. Keep up the hard work!


Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology. (2019). Latest Earthquakes Worldwide. Retrieved from http://ds.iris.edu/sm2/eventlist/

National Geographic Kids. (2018). Earthquakes. Retrieved          from https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/explore/science/earthquake/#earthquake-houses.jpg

Roble Education. (2015). Dr. Nagler's Laboratory: Longitude and Latitude. Retrieved from https://youtube.com/watch?v=cTrsvGytGG0&t=3


Teacher Page

WebQuest to meet Louisiana Student Standards for Science 

4-ESS2-2: Analyze and interpret data from maps to describe patterns of Earth’s features.
Students are plotting earthquake data on a map using lines of latitude and longitude to describe the patterns and comparing it to a map of plate tectonic boundaries in order to look for patterns and features of Earth. 

Disciplinary Core Idea: 
Plate Tectonics and Large-Scale System Interactions: The locations of mountain ranges, deep ocean trenches, ocean floor structures, earthquakes, and volcanoes occur in patterns. Most earthquakes and volcanoes occur in bands that are often along the boundaries between continents and oceans.
This Disciplinary Core Idea covers a large band of Earth systems and the purpose of this WebQuest is to hone in on earthquakes specifically to develop the knowledge and understanding of where earthquakes occur and begin the thought process of how plate tectonics are involved in where earthquakes take place. Students are using the two different maps to look for patterns and explain those patterns once they are found. 

And as always: Fork 'Em Demons!

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