IRIS Seismic Monitor

Contributor
Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS)
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Tool/Software , Data , Map
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

Seismic Monitor allows you to monitor global earthquakes in near real-time, visit seismic stations around the world, and search the web for earthquake headlines or region-related information. Earthquakes are shown as colored circles, where the size of the circle tells you the magnitude of the quake, using the legend at the top left of the map. Only earthquakes of magnitude 4.0 or greater are displayed. The map updates earthquakes every 20 minutes.

Intended Audience

Educator and learner
Educational Level
  • High School
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

Performance Expectations

HS-ESS2-3 Develop a model based on evidence of Earth’s interior to describe the cycling of matter by thermal convection.

Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on both a one-dimensional model of Earth, with radial layers determined by density, and a three-dimensional model, which is controlled by mantle convection and the resulting plate tectonics. Examples of evidence include maps of Earth’s three-dimensional structure obtained from seismic waves, records of the rate of change of Earth’s magnetic field (as constraints on convection in the outer core), and identification of the composition of Earth’s layers from high-pressure laboratory experiments.

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this performance expectation, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
This is a data set resource that allows users to see the locations of earthquakes for the past 2 weeks. The map does display near real-time earthquakes as it updates every 20 minutes. This web based resource can be used to plot earthquake locations over time during the school year. As students plot earthquakes they will soon realize that the earthquakes are not randomly distributed over the surface of the Earth. The pattern of earthquakes maps the locations of plate boundaries on the surface of the Earth.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
This is a web-based software tool that allows students to see the location of earthquakes for the past two weeks. A lesson will need to be developed that has students plot the location of earthquakes over time on a blank map so they can analyze the earthquake location data to make a valid scientific claim about the causes of the non-random earthquake locations over time. Students can also plot the depth of the earthquakes to locate subduction, transform, and divergent boundaries. Subduction zones will have earthquakes with increasing depth as you move away from the plate boundary in the direction of the subducting plate; transform and divergent boundaries will have most earthquakes located near the surface.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
This is a web-based software tool that allows students to see the locations of earthquakes for the past two weeks. A lesson will need to be developed that has students plot the location of earthquakes over time on a blank map so that they can analyze the earthquake location data to make a valid scientific claim about the causes of the non-random earthquake locations over time.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
This is a web-based software tool that allows students to see the locations of earthquakes for the past two weeks. A lesson will need to be developed that has students plot the location of earthquakes over time on a blank map so that they can analyze the earthquake location data to make a valid scientific claim about the causes of the non-random earthquake locations over time. The depth of the earthquakes can be used to show where convergent (areas of subduction) and divergent plate boundaries are located that indicate the cycling of matter due to thermal convection.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: As this is a web-based software tool, the alignment to the dimensions of the NGSS will have to be added by the teachers using this tool with students. A lesson can be designed that has students plot the location of earthquakes over time so that they can analyze the data after a few weeks to see where plate boundaries occur. Using the earthquake depth data, they can determine where subduction zones and divergent plate boundaries occur.

  • Instructional Supports: This web-based tool does not provide instructional supports. This will have to be developed by teachers using this tool with their students.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: This web-based tool does not provide instructional supports. This will have to be developed by teachers using this tool with their students.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: This tool is web-based. Students use a Google maps type interface to explore earthquake location data to determine where plate boundaries are located. Students can use the earthquake depth location to determine where subduction zones and divergent plate boundaries occur. The earthquake data updates every 20 minutes to provide near-realtime earthquake location data.