Plate Tectonics and People


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This lesson will last three weeks. In it, we'll explore some basic points about faults and earthquakes. We will also see how archaeology and solid Earth geoscience are linked.


By the end of Lesson 7 you should be able to:

  • Download, manipulate, and analyze publicly available earthquake catalog data from the Incorporated Research Institutions in Seismology (IRIS) and from the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
  • Download, manipulate, and analyze publicly available geodetic data from UNAVCO.
  • Recognize different types of faults on a map.
  • Associate specific stress fields with the types of faults they produce.
  • Describe the different methods for measuring earthquake magnitudes and energies.
  • Calculate seismic energy released for a given seismic magnitude.
  • Explain the physical meaning of earthquake magnitude.
  • Construct a dataset appropriate for verifying a given empirical observation.
  • Predict the approximate timing, sizes, and areal extent of aftershocks following an earthquake of a given magnitude.
  • Calculate plate velocities and earthquake slip from geodetic data

What is due for Lesson 7?

Lesson 7 will take us three weeks to complete: 2 - 22 Nov 2016.

The chart below provides an overview of the requirements for Lesson 7.

Lesson 7 Assignments
Requirement Submitted for Grading? Due Date
Reading discussion: Read articles and discuss them with the class Yes - Your discussion board participation counts toward your discussion grade. ongoing participation in the Canvas discussion "Delphic Oracle" 2 - 8 Nov 2016
Problem set: Greek earthquake problem set Yes - This exercise will be submitted to the "Greek earthquake problem set" assignment in Canvas. 15 Nov 2016
Problem set: Spectrum of Fault Slip problem set Yes - this exercise will be submitted to the "Slow Slip problem set" assignment in Canvas 22 Nov 2016


If you have any questions, please post them to our Questions? Discussion Forum (not e-mail). I will check that discussion forum daily to respond. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help out a classmate.