Lab 3.1 – Seafloor Features

Estimated time to complete: 15-20 minutes
Materials needed: Computer

In the interactive map below, you are able to see the bathymetry of an area in the northeastern region of the Pacific Ocean.

Explore the data to see what observations you can make. Zoom in and out of the map and examine the shapes and features that you see on the seafloor within the area enclosed by the grey rectangle. You can also drag the map to examine different areas.

Orientation Questions

  1. Where is the land and where is the ocean?
  2. Across what time periods are you able to observe oceanic or geologic variables in the plot?
    • What is the first month and year there are data?
    • What is the last month and year there are data?

Now toggle on the earthquake epicenters. Adjust the slider to add or remove epicenters.

  1. What is the range of earthquake magnitude?
  2. How can you tell the depth of each earthquake?

Interpretation Questions

  1. What oceanic or geologic features can you see? Identify and label all of the topographic features of the seafloor that you can within the rectangle.
  2. Do the earthquakes occur randomly or are there patterns? Are there patterns based on location or on magnitude or both?
  3. If there are patterns, do they have any relationship to the seafloor features? In what way?