Lab 3 (Summer ’17 version) —Earth Science


An Internet Study of Arkansas Earthquakes



Purpose: To study earthquakes in general and specifically the New Madrid and other earthquakes in Arkansas via the Internet.



This lab is to reinforce the information presented in the text and lecture notes about earthquakes and to acquaint the student with the New Madrid Seismic Zone, the earthquakes which have occurred there, and other earthquake phenomena in Arkansas. You will be referred to a number of specific Internet sites for specific links, but you are welcome to explore other parts of those sites. Like most topics, there is more information on the net on the New Madrid earthquakes than one can hope to examine and absorb.




1) Read the rest of the information on this exercise BEFORE starting the lab.

2) The questions at the bottom are approximately in the same order as the procedure and it will be easiest to answer them as you go through the steps.

3) Go to the following websites and read the sections to answer the questions. (questions 1-7) (questions 8-15) (questions 16-18) (questions 19-21) You can select individual section maps, but you can gather the data needed to answer the questions by looking at the main map, Seismicity of the Earth Maps 1900-2013, shown on the web page or you can down load the a PDF of the map here Download updated (1900-2013) full-size worldwide seismicity map [12.3MB PDF]



4) In 2001, there was an Arkansas earthquake outside of the New Madrid region. Go to the Arkansas Geological Commission website listed below and type “McFarland” into the search box. Read the article The May 2001 Faulkner County Earthquakes, written by Mr. McFarland, who was the State Geologist for a number of years. (questions 22-23)


5) Using your text book, answer the last three questions. (questions 24-26)




1) What are foreshocks?

2) Why do earthquakes occur?

3) What type of equipment is used to record earthquakes?

4) What is the term for the size of an earthquake?

5) What is the difference between a P-wave and an S-wave?

6) Are scientists able to predict earthquakes?

7) Is there earthquake weather or an earthquake season?

8) When and where did the largest earthquake in the United States occur?

9) Is the San Andreas Fault one continuous fault? On average, how much does it move in a year?

10) What are moonquakes?

11) What is a tsunami?

12) What is the difference between a hypocenter and an epicenter?

13) Approximately how many earthquakes occur each year? What U.S. state is the most earthquake prone most earthquakes?

14) Where do the majority of earthquakes occur?

15) What two U.S. states have the least number of earthquakes?

16) According to folklore, what did elephants have to do with earthquakes?

17) What culture associated a dog scratching with earthquakes?

18) Does the Chickasaw-Choctaw legend have a historical connection to an earthquake?

19) According to the USGS map, where have the majority of the earthquakes in the continental U.S. occurred?

20) Which side of the Asian continent has the most earthquakes, the east or the west?

21) Which side of the North and South American continents have the most earth quakes, the east or the west?

22) According to the McFarland article, when and where did a 4.4 (Richter scale) earthquake happen in Arkansas outside of the New Madrid area most recently?

23) According to the McFarland article, do the series of earthquakes from 1982 to the present indicate a fault zone hazardous to the public? Why or why not?

24) What is the Richter scale?

25) What is the difference between the amplitudes of a 6.0 Richter scale earthquake and a 8.0 Richter scale earthquake?

26) What is the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale? What is its range of values? (May want to use the text to answer this.)


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