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Seismology: "S minus P" Earthquake Location Method

 

Seismology: "S minus P" Earthquake Location Method

The original “S minus P” Earthquake Location Method activity was developed by L.W. Braile and S.J. Braile (http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~braile/edumod/walkrun/walkrun.htm).  The activity is one in a large collection of Professor Braile’s excellent earth science educational activities available online at http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~braile/indexlinks/educ.htm.

The TXESS Revolution version was adapted by Katherine Ellins, Institute for Geophysics, Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin.

How to cite this work: Ellins, K. (2000), Seismology: An S and P Earthquake Location Method after L.W. Braile and S.J. Braile, TXESS Revolution, http://www.txessrevolution.org/SeismologyS_PIntro, Date Accessed.


Overview

The purpose of this activity is to model (2) the different speeds of P and S waves as they travel from the epicenter of an earthquake; and (2) use travel times in to simulate a technique used by seismologists to locate earthquakes. This technique is called the S and P Wave Travel Time Simulation or “S minus P” Earthquake Location Method. We will use an approach that the L.W. Braile and S.J. Braile have named the Walk – Run method, in which S wave propagation is simulated by walking and P wave propagation is simulated by running. The Walk – Run method requires an “open space” of about 30 x 30 meters—a playfield or a gymnasium.

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Development, Research and Testing of the Activity

The activity was implemented in the following teacher professional development workshops: (1) Revolution Teacher Workshops (2006), supported by the Texas Education Agency; and (2) PDA 2A (2009) of the TXESS Revolution Project, supported by the National Science Foundation Opportunities for Enhancing Diversity in the Geosciences under NSF Grant No. 0703687. Feedback from teachers was used to refine the activity.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation or the Texas Education Agency.


Activity Rating by # TXESS Revolution Teachers in PDA 2A

Teachers who attended PDA 2A rated the activity as shown in the table below


Acknowledgements

As mentioned at the top of this page, the original “S minus P” Earthquake Location Method activity was developed by L.W. Braile and S.J. Braile and is one in a large collection of Professor Braile’s excellent earth science educational activities.