Musical Plates

Name:_________________________ Date:___________________________

Student Worksheet Activity 2 Student Worksheet: Look for Patterns


Your teacher will tell you to record your answers in your 'Musical Plates' journal/notebook OR on this worksheet.

  1. At the end of the two week period, study the map that you have produced displaying the recent earthquake events. See if you can answer these questions:
    1. Do the earthquakes appear to occur all over the earth's surface or only in isolated regions?

    2. Is there a recognizable pattern to where earthquakes seem to occur?

    3. If such a pattern does exist, could you use it to determine where high risk earthquakes zones are located?

    4. Name several high risk zones that the President might want to know about.

  2. Now, compare your world map from Activity 1 which has the earthquakes plotted on it to this tectonic plate map below. See if you can answer these questions:

    Plate Tectonics  
    Used with permission of the United States Geological Survey (USGS),

    1. Do you see any relationship between the map you created and the map above showing tectonic plates?

    2. Do you think that there might be a correlation between tectonic plates and earthquakes?

    3. What do you think this correlation is?

    4. What do you think is happening in the places where two plates are touching each other?

    5. When two plates rub against each what might the results be? Why? How might this relate to earthquakes?

  3. If you distinguished between shallow and deep earthquakes when you plotted the data, examine this plate boundary map that shows the types of boundaries (i.e. convergent, divergent, transform) that exist between certain plates. See if you can answer the following questions:
    1. Do deep earthquakes seem to correlate to any particular type of plate boundary? If so, what type of boundary?

    2. Do shallow earthquakes seem to correlate to any particular type of plate boundary? If so, what type of boundary?

    3. If there is a correlation, can you explain it?

Help!! Want to know more about plate boundaries? Try these sites:


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Center for Improved Engineering and Science Education (CIESE) All Rights Reserved.