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Earthquake Facts

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Level 2 Earthquakes

L2 Earthquakes textbookL2 Earthquakes

Earthquake facts can be found through out our Level 2 Earthquakes textbook. It contains facts about earthquakes that occur around the world. It includes sixteen lessons filled with earthquake facts. Lessons include Earthquake History, Seismic Waves, Plate Tectonics, Seismographs, Moment Magnitude Scale and the Alaskan Quake.  Each lesson contains 3-4 pages of written material about earthquakes, a quiz and a kids science activity.

Myrna Martin introduces each lesson in the textbook on a video that can be purchased with our packages and courses. Myrna covers not only the main points in the lesson she also includes extra information on the topic that is not contained in the written material.

The kids science activities are fun and easy to do. Science activities include Tsunami Waves, Rock Blocks, Moving Plates, Pop Up Graph, and Coffee Can Seismograph.

IN SE L2 Earthquakes Options

Student Edition eBook link
Level 2 Earthquakes Textbook

Teacher Edition eBook link
Level 2 Earthquakes Textbook

IN TE L2 Earthquakes

Teacher’s Edition Textbooks

The teacher’s textbook is an exact copy of the student textbook. It includes the answers to the quizzes on each quiz page. A Teacher’s Notes page is located before each lesson with the following information

1. Lesson Content
2. Lesson Objectives
3. Activity information and materials needed
4. Vocabulary and definitions
5. Correlation with the National Science Standards

Earthquake Facts

Earthquakes occur all over the Earth but most of them happen along the edges of crustal plates. There are three boundaries that form between crustal plates. Divergent boundaries form where two plates are separating. Convergent boundaries form where tectonic plates are moving together. Two plates that slip past each other form a transform boundary. The San Andreas Fault is a transform boundary.

Earthquake waves

There are four major types of earthquake waves. Every earthquake whether large or small produces P waves and S waves. P waves compress and expand as they travel through the interior of the Earth. S waves move back and forth similar to a rope when you move one end side to side. Large earthquakes produce Love waves and Rayleigh waves. These are surface waves that travel around the surface of the Earth and are the most destructive earthquake waves.

What causes tsunamis

Tsunamis are produced by large earthquakes offshore in the ocean when a long fault moves a column of ocean water either upward or downward depending on the fault. Subduction zones are the source of most tsunamis when rocks fracture along a fault in the ocean floor and one plate slips beneath another plate.

Not all tsunamis are caused by subduction zone earthquakes. The largest tsunami ever recorded by was by a massive landslide in Lituya Bay, Alaska. The landslide displaced water to a height of 1,720 feet (524 meters) along the slopes of the fjord. Two fishermen in a boat survived to tell the tale of the megatsunami and earthquake that started the landslide.

1960 Chile earthquake

The 1960 Chile earthquake was the largest earthquake recorded in the 20th Century. It occurred on May 22, 1960 near Valdivia, Chile. The subducting Nazca Plate and the South America plate were locked prior to the earthquake. When the rocks ruptured along the Peru-Chile trench tsunamis were generated that traveled as far away as southeast Australia and north to the Aleutian Islands.

Since the 1960 Chilean earthquake two more large earthquakes have struck the country. On February 27, 2010 an 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck offshore in central Chile. Another earthquake struck the country on April 2, 2014. This earthquake was an 8.2 magnitude quake.

Moment magnitude scale

The moment magnitude scale was created after the 1960 Chilean earthquake and the 1964 Alaska earthquake. They were the largest earthquakes of the 20th Century. The Richter magnitude scale was created to study smaller earthquakes along the San Andreas Fault. Scientists realized that they needed a newer scale that took into account the total energy released during an earthquake.

The moment magnitude scale uses the total energy released by an earthquake not just the ground motion shown on seismographs. The moment magnitude scale looks at the total energy released by the earthquake. The magnitude of a 7.0 earthquake releases about 1000 times more energy than a magnitude 5.0 earthquake.

Large earthquake occur in subduction zones where the area of the fault that ruptures is much larger. The moment magnitude scale looks at all earthquake facts to come up with the number on this new scale.

More Level 2 Textbook Links

Level 2 Textbooks

Rock Cycle



Earth Science


The Oceans

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Course 2

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