Lab 3.2 – Plate Tectonic Settings

Estimated time to complete: 20 minutes
Materials needed: Computer

Use this map of bathymetry and earthquakes in the northeastern region of the Pacific Ocean to make observations and answer the questions below.

Toggle on the earthquake epicenters. Zoom in and out of the map and examine the relationship between earthquake magnitude and depth relative to the seafloor features within the area enclosed by the grey rectangle. 

Assessment questions

  1. What areas have the most earthquakes?
  2. Are their patterns based on earthquake magnitude?
  3. Where do the shallowest earthquakes occur? Where do the deepest earthquakes occur? What might this indicate?
  4. Which relationships between seafloor features and earthquakes are obvious? Why?
  5. Look closely at the deepest earthquakes. Do they have a pattern? What might that pattern indicate?
  6. Based on the depth and concentration of earthquakes and the location and shape of seafloor features, what type of tectonic settings or boundaries are present and where are they located?