Learning and teaching resources on hazards posed by earthquakes and tsunami and methods for mitigating those hazards are provided in this section. The treatment of earthquake hazards and damage highlights the main factors that control the violence of ground shaking produced by earthquakes. These include: earthquake magnitude; distance from the earthquake; local geology; building style; and duration of ground shaking. Using lesson plans provided, students can explore engineering approaches that minimize building damage from earthquake ground shaking. Basic concepts and properties of tsunami include: generation of tsunami by shallow great earthquakes at subduction zones; speed and travel times of tsunami in deep ocean and amplification of wave height upon landfall; and the contrast in time available for evacuation from a distant tsunami compared to a local tsunami.
To efficiently learn about Earthquake and Tsunami Hazards using the TOTLE web site and to locate teaching resources on this topic, we recommend that you start by viewing the PowerPoint presentations. First-time users should download and view these presentations to understand the logical sequence of observations and concepts. The presentation Earthquake Hazards PowerPoint Presentation provides fundamental concepts of earthquake damage and mitigation along with links the teaching resources for a middle school audience. The Tsunamis PowerPoint Presentation provides background information and links to tsunami teaching resources.
A PDF Guide to Earthquake and Tsunami Hazards is also available. This guide is an outline of the Earthquake and Tsunami Hazards topic. The guide contains links to TOTLE Earthquake ad Tsunami Hazards teaching resources and a table of contents of teaching resources on this topic.
QuickTime animation of 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami waves generated by the December 26, 2004 Sumatra – Andaman Islands great earthquake. The magnitude 9.2 great earthquake in the Sunda Trench occurred along the subduction zone between the India – Australia Plate and the southeastern corner of the Eurasian Plate. During the earthquake, the ocean floor in the Sunda Trench was offset and uplifted a column of ocean water producing an elongated mound of ocean water at the surface of the Indian Ocean.
This animation was developed by the US Geological Survey after the devastating 2005 earthquake in Pakistan. It shows how earthquake ground shaking of a building without adequate shear strength can result in collapse. An accompanying animation “Retrofit Building Withstanding Earthquake Ground Shaking” shows how addition of shear strength can mitigate earthquake damage.
This QuickTime animation shows how seismic waves are amplified when they pass through weak or loose layers of rocks and sediment. In loose water-saturated sediment, liquefaction can occur causing the ground to turn to “quick sand” during earthquake shaking.
This QuickTime animation shows how P, S, and surface seismic waves are amplified as they pass from strong bedrock areas to areas underlain by weaker layers of rocks and sediment. In loose water-saturated sediment, liquefaction can occur causing the ground to turn to “quick sand” during earthquake shaking. Animation is narrated to explain the events occurring during the animation.
This QuickTime animation shows how seismic ground shaking caused water-saturated sediment and fill materials beneath the San Francisco Marina District to turn to “quick sand” during earthquake shaking. Liquefaction led to settling, tilting, and sometimes complete collapse of buildings in the Marina District. Liquefaction also occurred in the Marina District during the 1989 Loma Prieta (aka World Series) earthquake of 1989.
Using seismic accelerograms produced by this new technology from the USGS, CSI software has been used to create animations that show the behavior of some California landmarks if they were to be subjected today to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. In this animation, Los Angeles City Hall with base isolation retrofit (left) is compared to the original structure without base isolation (right) subjected to the 1906 Earthquake. Deformation Amplified 100 times. Movie playing at twice real speed. Seismogram is shown on the bottom of the animation.
This animation was developed by the US Geological Survey after the devastating 2005 earthquake in Pakistan. It shows how addition of shear strength can mitigate earthquake damage to buildings. An accompanying animation “Building Collapse During Earthquake Ground Shaking” shows how earthquake ground shaking of a building without adequate shear strength can result in collapse.
QuickTime animation of a tsunami generated by a shallow earthquake on the Cascadia subduction zone. This animation shows that a tsunami could reach shore 15 to 20 minutes after the displacement of the ocean floor resulting from an earthquake on the Cascadia subduction zone. This animation was produced by the US Geological Survey and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
QuickTime animation of a tsunami created by a shallow subduction zone earthquake. The sudden offset of the ocean floor during the earthquake lifts up the overlying water column to produce a mound in the sea surface. That mound then collapses as tsunami moves away from its point of origin. This animation was developed by Miho Aoki, University of Alaska Fairbanks.