Activities

Earthquakes In Your State

Name: _________________________________       Date: _____________

Although most earthquakes occur along the edges of Earth's tectonic plates, they can also happen along faults in the middle of plates. In this Planet Diary activity, you'll take a look at the earthquake hazard risk and past quakes in your state.

  1. Start at USGS U.S. Earthquake Information by State. Click your state. Scroll to Maps, then click the Seismic Hazard Map for your state. Look closely the map and color scale. Describe the earthquake hazard for the area where you live.
  2. Click the Seismicity Map for your state above the Seismic Hazard Map. The circles on the map show where earthquakes have hit your over the past two decades. The colors show their depth. Which part of your state had the most earthquakes?
  3. How are your answers to the first two questions related?
  4. Find the quake with the greatest magnitude in your state. What was the quake's date, epicenter, and magnitude?
  5. Estimate how close the epicenter of the quake in question 4 is to where you live.
  6. Explore the other quakes listed for your state. Where and when was the one closest to where you live?
  7. Return to the page of earthquake information for your state. Scroll to Recent Earthquakes. Click the most recent one. Where and when was it?
  8. Scroll to your state's USGS Geologic Information. Describe what the map shows about the geology of your area.