Seismic Resources on the World Wide Web
The goal of the MAEC is to address mitigation of earthquake effects
in the central and eastern U.S.
Offered by the Georgia Institute of Technology
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department and CEISMC.
June 22-25, 1998
Contents of Part 1
Current earthquake information
A good place to start. Has information on recent earthquakes, earthquakes worldwide, and
in certain regions of the U.S., with data on date/time, latitude/longitude, depth, magnitude,
and geographic location.
This site is one of the first to see for maps of recent earthquakes in the continental U.S., the
World, or in specific parts of California (such as the San Francisco Bay region).
Lists of current earthquakes in the central US, North America, and worldwide. Earthquake
maps are updated every 6 hours. White outline maps of the continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii,
world, and selected regions. Colored dots show depths, and sizes of dots show magnitude.
Lists of earthquake data are also presented, particularly for the Central U.S. from the New
Madrid Seismic Network. A map of world earthquakes of 1996 can easily be used in a
classroom to plot epicenters onto an inexpensive wall map. Colored adhesive dots of several
sizes, can be used to represent earthquake magnitude and depth. Students could update the
wall map weekly.
This site at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland uses data from the U.S. Geological Survey National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC), displayed with the Xerox PARC map viewer, and interactive map system which allows you to zoom in and out, among other things.
http://geoscope.ipgp.jussieu.fr (in French)
http://geosp6.ipgp.jussieu.fr/ (in English)
This interesting site is in France, and provides current seismograms, as well as data from the
last ten large recent events worldwide. The unique feature of this site is that it presents
seismograms from 13 different seismic stations worldwide in the same diagram. This allows
you to compare P- and S-wave arrival times. Individual seismic stations' records may also be
viewed through an interactive form. The site also includes e-mail addresses of French earth
Southeastern and Central U.S. Earthquake Information
This site links to a list of earthquakes in the Southern Appalachians, as well as an interactive
map. Use FTP to download waveforms, earthquake catalogs, and
bulletins. (Note: the interactive map uses the Xerox PARC map viewer, which may cause a
General Protection Fault error in Netscape, requiring you to close Netscape. You can always
open it back up, or restart your computer. Presumably more memory would solve this
problem.) When it works, you can zoom in and out on the map.
Interactive map of southeastern U.S.
Discusses earthquakes recorded in Virginia. Use ftp with your web browser to download files and obtain data. Data are available within 20 minutes of trigger time. Site is somewhat difficult to navigate and interpret.
Lists earthquakes in the Central and Southern Appalachians from 1992 to present (most recent at bottom of list).
Map shows epicenters in the southeastern US from July 1977 through December 1995.
Map and long list of links to information on the New Madrid Earthquake. Includes links to images.
This is the site to visit for information on the New Madrid earthquake zone in the central U.S.
Contains several papers on the 1811-1812 Mississippi Valley earthquake sequence (New
Madrid earthquakes) and maps of central U.S. earthquakes from 1800-1983, and 1975-1995.
This site has public information, lists and maps of earthquakes in the central U.S., the New
Madrid Seismic Network, as well as research publications.
The New Madrid Fault System
This is part of the Memphis site, produced in conjunction with the U. S. Geological Survey,
which provides additional information on the New Madrid Fault system.
Has seismograms of the month, epicenter maps (M>2, updated every 2 hours), events lists,
weekly summaries, and a searchable New Madrid earthquake catalog.
This great site has daily seismograms from Tucson (TUC), maps of recent seismicity updated
hourly (both global and NE Pacific Rim) with colored dots indicating depth, and much more.
This page contains the seismic record of the day.
Real-time data and replays of various events. Updated every 30 sec. Best viewed with Windows 95 and
Netscape 2.0 or newer. (Uses JAVA applets, which may not work on older versions of operating system,
Netscape or other browsers).
This real-time image of a seismograph in Griffith Park from KNBC Channel 4 in Los Angeles.
See the helicorder with explanation of rotating drum records.
Create your Own Seismograms
You can enter date and time data for an earthquake and adjust the parameters to create a
seismogram to look the way you want it to using this interactive form. This can be fun or
frustrating, but you can get it to work with a little experimentation. (Note: obtain dates and
times from U.S. Geological Survey sites or other sites.)
Has an interactive "create a seismogram" form. You supply time and date. (Note: obtain dates
and times from U.S. Geological Survey sites or other sites.)
Build Your Own Seismograph
With a few materials and some time, you can build your own seismograph. Plans for a simple seismograph from the University of California.
A list of references on building your own seismometer from PEPP.
From the July, 1979 Scientific American Magazine, "The Amateur Scientist", How to build a simple seismograph to record earthquake waves at home.
Information on building a seismometer, with a link to download software.
The Public Seismic Network site on homebuilt seismographs - Lehman Seismometer .
This site shows specifications and features for a seismograph.
Workshop where students build seismographs.
Background information on earthquakes
Become certified as a "Virtual Seismologist" by learning how earthquake epicenters and Richter magnitudes are determined using this interactive computer program.
You will go through all of the steps of locating epicenters and determining magnitudes, beginning with a study of seismograms. Print out your own personalized "virtual seismologist" certificate if you
correctly complete the program.
The Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale is presented in table form with descriptions and clickable graphics for each intensity level.
An earthquake tutorial from EPIC, the Electronic Publishing and Instructional Curriculum at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
The National Earthquake Information Center's list of brief definitions of commonly used
This fascinating site compiles earthquake facts and statistics, such as lists of the most
destructive earthquakes, the ten largest earthquakes in the U.S., a map of the largest
earthquakes in the U.S., significant earthquakes in the world by year from 1990 to 1996, those
with more than 1000 deaths, and more.
Earthquake Facts and Follies
This guide from the University of Memphis answers frequently asked questions about
earthquakes. Includes table of number of earthquakes per year vs. magnitude, table indicating
number of deaths for various earthquakes, information on how earthquakes are measured, and
earthquake prediction, and more.
Glossary from the book, A Parent's Guide to Earthquakes by Lucy Jones of the U. S.
Geological Survey. A list of earthquake terms with a paragraph or two of discussion for
A beautifully illustrated web page with basic introduction to plate tectonics (from the Nevada
Seismological Laboratory). Contains satellite images of classic plate tectonics settings.
A well-illustrated, thorough overview of plate tectonics. A clickable link at the bottom of the page will take you to volcano lesson plans for various grades.
Plate Tectonic Map
This site has a clickable, interactive plate tectonic map with description of the basics of plate
The Earth's Interior
A beautifully illustrated web page with information on the crust, mantle, and core (from the
Nevada Seismological Laboratory). Shows how seismic waves are used to determine the
Earth's internal structure.
This site has lecture notes on faults, earthquakes, plate tectonics, Earth's interior, and related
topics. Also links to earthquake-related sites. Part of the Georgia Geoscience Online project.
Seismic waves and seismographs
A well illustrated page with information on seismic deformation, seismic waves, seismographs,
seismometers, and locating an earthquake (from the Nevada Seismological Laboratory).
Beautiful, new (1996), color seismic hazard maps from the U.S. Geological Survey. Custom maps can be generated for your particular location.
A well-illustrated page explaining how to find an epicenter.
Information on the Richter Scale
Myths about earthquakes
This site lists both ancient myths and modern folklore about earthquakes.
More earthquake-related sites
Return to Georgia Tech Earthquake Hazards and Recording Workshop Page
Return to Georgia Geoscience Online Page
This page created by Pamela J. W. Gore
Georgia Perimeter College
Created June 12, 1996
Modified June 18, 1997
Modified June 19, 1998
Modified August 24, 2004