A Continental-scale Seismic Observatory


Teachable Moments

The Utah Mine Collapse

Link to Text and PowerPoint Slides

When a mine collapsed in Utah, 400 seismometers in the region were recording...

TOPICS: Focal mechanisms, P wave first motions, data modeling

MORE INFORMATION: Berkeley Moment Tensor Report


The 23 August 2011 M5.8 Mineral, VA earthqake

Link to Powerpoint - 5MB

A magnitude 5.8 earthquake occurred near the nation's capitol.

TOPICS: Central and Eastern United States, record sections, source mechanism, strainmeter data, horizontal displacement

MORE INFORMATION: Watch the USArray Earthquake Wave Visualization of this earthquake on the IRIS website.



Seismic Wavefield Animations

Link to Animations

Charles Ammon, a professor at Penn State University, has developed animations of real data showing how seismic waves sweep the transportable array of seismometers. Watch how earthquake waves originating from the US and around the world cause the ground at each seismometer to slightly shift up and down.

TOPICS: wavefronts, three-component seismograms, great-circle direction, ground displacements


Seismic Tomography Animations

Link to Animations

View how researchers use seismic waves to image earth's interior.

TOPICS: tomography

MORE INFORMATION: Introductory description of how seismic tomography is used to determine Earth structure (3.5 MB PDF)


For more earth science publications, activities, professional development, internships, animations, museum displays, free software and more, visit EarthScope Education and Outreach and IRIS Education and Outreach.