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

Dear Mr. President,

Over the past couple of weeks, we have been studying earthquakes through various activities, including plotting recent earthquakes on a map. After many weeks of research, we have found that earthquakes are cause by faulting. Faulting is when pieces of the Earth’s crust are pushed together or pulled apart.

After plotting our data, we have found that more earthquakes occur along fault lines, or in other words, where the lithospheric plates break. The major fault lines of the word are located along the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Mediterranean, and along the Atlantic Mid Ocean Ridge. The depth of an earthquake is measure on a scale. Any earthquake between the range of 0-100 is considered as a shallow earthquake, while anything more is regarded as a deep earthquake. The depths of earthquakes usually vary, but most of them are shallow. The few deep ones usually occur around the area of New Zealand. The magnitude, on the other hand, is measured on the Richter Scale. The Richter Scale has measurements from 1-10, ten being the harshest and one being the mildest. Of the earthquakes we plotted over the past few weeks, we have found that the average magnitude of an earthquake is usually around 4 or 5 on the scale. A four or five is considered a reasonable size earthquake, but nothing horribly damaging. The damage of an earthquake on land is determined by a mix of both the magnitude and the depth. For example, if an earthquake is a 7 on the Richter Scale, but it is very deep, it may not cause as much damage as an earthquake that measured a 5 but was very shallow.

I believe that you should continue funding for the research of earthquakes because finding out more about earthquakes can help us save millions of lives around the world. If we continue funding and learn more about earthquakes, we may be able to find out how to predict earthquakes in advance. This can not only save millions of lives but also help us find information on these amazing natural occurrences. Research may also provide us with more information on the connection between volcanoes and earthquakes.

Please reconsider you decision to reduce funding for research. This decision will not only affect scientists, but also millions of innocent civilians around the world.



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