12/08/1998 08:00:00

New educational module on earthquakes now on-line

PASADENA-The ever-changing Earth and the forces that make it so are the theme of a new Web-based educational module from the Southern California Earthquake Center.

"Investigating Earthquakes Through Regional Seismicity" has been designed to provide students and others with the opportunity to learn about the nature of earthquakes. With two interactive sections already on-line and additional offering in the planning stages, the module will provide Web surfers with knowledge of matters such as faults, rates of occurrence, magnitudes, and geographic distribution.

The module is designed by John Marquis, Katrin Hafner, and Egill Hauksson of the Seismological Lab at Caltech, with funding provided by the Southern California Earthquake Center.

Hafner says that the material was originally designed to answer common questions about earthquakes, but that the project has now expanded to provide a significant education component for classrooms as well. "Because the module is Web-based, it is more than just a static educational product," says Hafner.

"Each section consists of a sequence of text 'pages'-with explanatory maps, diagrams, and other in-line images-hyperlinked to activities, in which students can develop an understanding of the concepts in a more interactive way."

Many of the activities are also linked to resources such as fault maps, which provide access to seismological data archived at the Southern California Earthquake Center's data center.

The content and format of the module have been reviewed by scientists and educators alike, and portions of the module have been field- tested in high school and community college settings.

The Web module can be accessed at the following address: http://www.scecdc.scec.org/Module/module.html

Written by Robert Tindol