Learning and teaching resources on the fundamentals of plate tectonics and the basics of earthquakes are provided in this section. The treatment of plate tectonics emphasizes how the distribution and properties of plates and the motions at different kinds of plate boundaries explain global-scale patterns of earthquakes and volcanoes. Themes of the introduction to earthquakes are the nature of seismic waves, the geographic, depth, and size distribution of earthquakes, and the interplay of forces, faults, and friction that account for where and when earthquakes occur.
To efficiently learn about Plate Tectonics and Earthquakes using the TOTLE web site and to locate teaching resources on this topic, start by viewing the PowerPoint presentations. We recommend that first-time users download and view the presentations to understand the logical sequence of observations and concepts. These presentations are large files so downloading may require tens of seconds or even a minute. The first presentation you should view is Plate Tectonic PowerPoint Presentation that provides both an introduction to plate tectonics and links to teaching resources tailored for a middle school audience. You should then view the Earthquake Seismology PowerPoint Presentation that provides background information and links to teaching resources on fundamentals of earthquakes.
A PDF Guide to Plate Tectonics and Earthquakes is also available. This guide is an outline of the Plate Tectonic and Earthquake Seismology PowerPoint Presentations. The guide contains links to TOTLE Introduction to Plate Tectonics and Earthquakes teaching resources and a table of contents of teaching resources on this topic.
PDF of References in article “USArray Visualization Show Seismic Waves Sweeping Across the U.S.” by R.F. Butler, C. D. Hedeen, and R. Groom in The Earth Scientist.