As most of us woke on Saturday we learned of the devastating earthquake that hit Chile on Friday. An 8.8 quake is just unreal. I taught Earth Science for many years and have a background in Geology so I understand just what that number means, but most people do not. Here are a few links to help you and your students understand quakes and Tsunamis, which alot of people confuse with "tidal wave", which is something a little different.
Richter Magnitude Scale: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/topics/richter.php
Earthquake Labs: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/kids/
Beat the Quake: http://www.dropcoverholdon.org/beatthequake/game/
Make a Quake: http://tlc.discovery.com/convergence/quakes/interactives/makeaquake.html
Why Files: http://whyfiles.org/094quake/
Welcome to Tsumani: UNV of Washington http://www.ess.washington.edu/tsunami/index.html
NOAA Tsumani Page: http://www.tsunami.noaa.gov/prepare.html
Tsunami Animations: http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/ocean/visualizations/tsunami.html
Pacific Tsunami Museum: http://www.tsunami.org/
Tsunami vs. Tidal Wave: http://www.scienceandthesea.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=104&Itemid=10
Enchanted Learning: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/tsunami/
Savage Earth: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/savageearth/tsunami/index.html
This chart explains how the surge of water, called a Tsunami, traveled across the Pacific. Luck was with most of the 50+ nations who had warnings issued and the surge was only a couple of feet or some a few centimeters. Some of the areas closest to Chile received walls of water 10 Meters high. If the quake was not enough to deal with, the water became the sucker punch after the fact....Mother Nature plays hard but sometimes our spirit outlasts her....Let's hope the people of Chile have the spirit as those in Haiti displayed and that all nations around the world lend a hand just as they did for Haiti. In my experience as teacher of Geology I have noticed a trend....These massive quakes happen in threes. Haiti, now Chile....who's next you say? Well it was Japan. There was a 6.9 quake in Japan this weekend as well. You have to understand that the plates are all tied together and when one moves, the others have to move as well. Take out a map of the plates and find the three locations and you can clearly see how the three move...From now on, if you remember the rule of three, anytime you hear that a major earthquake happened somewhere in the world, you can bet you either missed one or two or there are one or two yet to come....Have a good week!