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

Dear Mr. President:

This letter is to discuss the recent earthquakes. I have been studying earthquakes over the past few weeks. I have plotted where they have occurred and noticed some pattern and I have noticed where these earthquakes strike are around the Ring of Fire. I have also noticed that the earthquakes have a trend in magnitudes and depth. In this letter I hope I can persuade you to continue funding us.

An earthquake is the shaking and trembling that results from the sudden movement of part of the Earth’s crust, also known as faulting. In the process of faulting Earth’s crust is being pushed together of pulled apart causing rocks to break or slide past each other. This movement of rocks causes energy that causes other rocks to move and continue upwards. The point of origin of the earthquake is called the focus. The area above the focus is the epicenter, which tends to receive the most violent shaking first. The earthquakes produce waves called seismic waves. There are three types of seismic waves: Primary (P), Secondary (S), and Surface (L). Surface waves are the most dangerous waves. Earthquakes can also occur on the ocean floor. This is what an earthquake is.

Over the past two weeks there have been certain parts of the world that tend to experience earthquakes more than others. There are also many deep earthquakes in New Zealand. There have also been many earthquakes near Greece and Italy. There were some earthquakes in the Hindu Kush area in Asia and a few earthquakes around Japan. Some earthquakes have even occurred in the Mid Atlantic Ridge. There are many earthquakes at the Ring of Fire. Many of these earthquakes are on the coast of the land and ocean. These earthquakes match up with the lithospheric plate boundaries. These are the parts of the world that experience the most earthquakes.

There are also trends in earthquakes’ magnitude and depth. Many earthquakes happen in an area more than once everyday. Most of the earthquakes had a magnitude between 4 to 6. There is also a trend in depth of earthquakes. Most of these earthquakes had a depth of 10 to 33 km. Also, most of the earthquakes at New Zealand had a depth of above 100 meters. These earthquakes occurred in the northern part of New Zealand. These are the trends I noticed in the earthquakes.

Mr. President I think you should continue funding our research team for many reasons. This research has been both very important and useful but also educational. This research will help us learn more about the earth. It will let us learn more about where the earthquakes strike. This, in turn, could save many people’s lives. This data being collected by us can also help kids learn more about the earthquakes and where they strike and how hard. That is why I think you should continue funding my research team. Thank you for reading this report, and I am hoping you will continue your funding to us.



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