- What parts of the United States do you think are most likely to experience earthquakes?
- Explain what causes earthquakes.
- How many earthquakes does the planet experience in a year, according to USGS estimates? Do we feel most of these? Why not?
- How do scientists know when an earthquake happens in a remote area? About how many quakes a year do seismometers detect?
- How often and where do quakes with a magnitude 8 or greater occur?
- Describe tectonic plates and how they cause earthquakes.
- Name three ways the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811 and 1812 changed the landscape.
- How far away were the New Madrid quakes felt?
- Give two reasons why powerful earthquakes in New Madrid today would be more damaging than those that occurred there 200 years ago?
- Describe one major difference between earthquakes in the eastern United States and quakes in the western United States, and explain how the geology of the two regions determines this difference.
- How far-reaching were the effects of the August 23, 2011, earthquake centered in Virginia?
- Did the quakes in Virginia and Missouri originate near the edge of tectonic plates? Is this unusual for quakes?
- Briefly describe three explanations scientists have proposed for why earthquakes occur far away from the edges of tectonic plates.
- Explain why you think building codes should or should not be enforced in areas with low risk for earthquakes.
- Find your hometown on the USGS earthquake hazards map. Does the level of risk for quakes in your region surprise you? Why or why not?
- Do you know what to do in an earthquake? Research a few safety precautions to take before a quake hits and also how to keep safe during a quake.