Monday, March 16th, 2009...5:49 pm

Create your Own Earthquake

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Background- An earthquake is the vibrations we feel when the earth’s crust suddenly moves. What causes these sudden, larger movements of the crust? The plates can stretch so far, but if they stretch farther than their elastic limit, they will break and release huge vibrations that can be felt large distances away.This project is worth 20 POINTS EXTRA CREDIT TEST GRADE.

* 4 sm. packages Gelatin (clear gelatin is best)
* 8×8 in pan
* plastic wrap
* butter knife


1. Day before: Dissolve the packages of gelatin in 4 cups of boiling water. Pour the gelatin in a plastic lined 8×8 inch pan.
2. When the gelatin has set, remove it from the pan, cut it in two pieces with a wet butter knife. Slowly slide the gelatin halves past each other and watch as your “fault” builds up energy and releases a gelatin earthquake
3. Add pieces to represent a road, houses, fences, etc. This will make it more life like. If possible add the pieces along the either side of the fault!!

Analysis questions :

1. What type of fault did you create? What type of stress caused this
2. What happened to the road, the fence, and house pieces when they were slid past each other
3. Did some spots demonstrate an earthquake better than others? Explain in terms of seismic waves!!
4. How was this activity similar to a real earthquake?

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