Top Websites – Spotlight on Earthquakes

Earthquakes are some of the most potent and destructive phenomena found on our planet. Caused by the abrupt release of strain that has accumulated over a period of time along a fault in the interior of the Earth, earthquakes and their aftereffects can have devastating consequences, causing extensive damage and leading to massive loss of life. Throughout human history, earthquakes have had huge societal and economic impact. This Spotlight feature seeks to provide factual information about the physical aspects of earthquakes as well as to highlight seismic risk investigations that can be used to limit or prevent their calamitous effects. The Spotlight is available at and includes:

  • Earthquake Q & A
  • Audio interview with Encyclopedia author and seismologist, Kaye Shedlock, Director of the National Science Foundation’s EarthScope Program 
  • Animations of plate tectonics and tsunami from AccessScience
  • “Next Big Quake” video from ScienCentral
  • “China Shakes: Mapping earthquake intensity”, an image story about the Sichuan earthquake
  • Links to Earthquake Resources: Earthquake shaketable videos, disaster safety websites, student research opportunities, and more
  • Earthquake image gallery
  • List of related articles found in the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology, 10th Edition, and the 2008 McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology

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