Musical Plates
Edison Middle School., West Orange New Jersey
Submitted May, 2002

Dear President Bush,

I am the lead scientist in the U.S. Geological Survey investigating earthquakes. You have found information you may need and/or want. For example, what is causing earthquakes, where they mostly occur, trends in the depth and magnitude, and why you should continue to fund our research.

First, what is causing earthquakes? Well, the movement of the plates or faulting is a major cause. First, you have two plates. Then they either squeeze together (compress) or pull apart (tension). Those are both types of stress. Next, the rock breaks and the earth begin to shake. Unless one crust is denser than the other than it is sub ducted.

Next, where do most earthquakes occur? Well, in certain regions are more likely because they are closer to the plate boundaries. The areas are the ring of fire (in the Pacific), New Zealand, off the west coast of North and South America. Most of these places are at boundaries where continental crust meets other continental crust. With all the stress the ground begins to rumble.

Then, are there trends in depth and magnitude? Well yes there are. The deeper earthquakes occur near New Zealand. The others are relatively 100 and down with a few exceptions. Like one of the coast of North America. Most earthquakes are relatively small. Basically 2-5 on the Richter scale.

Last, why should you continue to fund our research? Well, we are learning more that ever about plate boundaries and what happens. This helps us understand what is happening. Which may help us be able to predict and maybe prevent some of the damage that happens there. Deadly things can happen when an earthquake occurs.

Now that you have read my letter I hope you understand more about earthquakes. I also hope you will continue to fund us, and take an interest in our project. If you have any further questions to be scared to write



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