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Earthquake News from the Science Center October 17, 2012

Posted by bsciencecenter in Uncategorized.
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Last night’s earthquake in Maine shook many homes (and schools!) across Massachusetts. Burlington was no exception. Fortunately for us, Burlington’s own seismograph was up and running and recorded the seismic vibrations as they passed through BHS. (Click on the image to see a full size view.)

What you see in the image above are the compressional P-waves passing through at roughly 7:18.30 (our clock on the seismogram runs a little fast), then a short lull before the stronger S-waves began to pass through at 7:18.50. The S-waves move more slowly from the epicenter but also tend to be more dangerous because they are transversal waves, waves that move up and down much like ocean waves or ripples.

In addition we put together an Earthquake PSA for our elementary level students to help them understand what an earthquake is, how earthquake waves move through the earth’s crust, and how seismologists measure seismic waves using a seismograph.