## The Big One?

Source: Wikimedia

**Type:** Investigation

**Theme:** Modeling

**Grades:** 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

**Learning Target:** Students will plot a frequency chart of 2.0-9.0 magnitude earthquakes in Seattle and determine the likelihood of a very large earthquake of occurring (6, 7, 8, 9) and compare that to news article predictions.

Instructions

This is a group project. Submit as a Word Document or Sway.

- Research earthquake predictions from news articles in Seattle, Washington. Make a collection of five headlines with dates and first paragraph.
- Collect ten years earthquake data from Seattle area from the USGS Earthquake Catalogue. You will need to decide how large of an area to sample. Take a snip of your selection area. Select 1.0 and higher magnitude quakes. Export as a CSV file.
- Use a spreadsheet to count the number of quakes within a range of magnitudes, such as 1.0 to 1.9, 2.0 to 2.9...etc.
- Create a model:
- Middle School Students: Create a histogram with the raw data, snip, and estimate probability based on the curve.
- High School Students: Use a spreadsheet to count the number of quakes within a range of magnitudes, such as 1.0 to 1.9, 2.0 to 2.9...etc. Graph your data, x-axis (magnitude), y-axis (number of quakes). Use an exponential equation to model the equation and create a function to estimate probability.

- Create a table with earthquakes probabilities from 2.0-9.0.
- Answer the following questions:
- How large of an area did you sample? Why did you choose that size?
- How do your probabilities match with reality?
- How do the newspaper headlines match your probabilities?

- Obtain and provide a Peer Review.
- Revise your work.

### Submission

- PowerPoint or Word document.
- Five news articles.
- Snip of earthquake selection area.
- Snip of graph, table of probabilties.
- Answers to questions.
- Peer Review

### USGS Search Tips

- Select output format: CSV
- The tool can reset settings without warning
- Desmos calculator has a 5000 limit for lists
- Use 10 years of data and do a yearly probability by dividing by 10 (or 5 years/5)

### Resources

Exit Ticket

CCSS Math Practice

- I can construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
- I can model with mathematics.

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts

- Systems and System Models
- Energy and Matter