School: LOS ALAMOS HIGH
Area of Science: seismology
Proposal: For centuries, predicting earthquakes has been a very important topic for seismologists. Being able to predict earthquakes could prevent potential disasters and save many lives. Unfortunately, there is not much information known about earthquakes, and therefore a lot of controversy surrounding the best method of prediction. Also, throughout history many faulty predictions have been made, thereby reducing the trust of any predicion. The purpose of this project is to develop a method of prediction, this may be able to save many lives in the future. We will use a mathematical function to characterize a wide range of magnitudes, in order to understand both low and high magnitude earthquakes. There are three different wave sizes in an earthquake, Preliminary waves, Secondary waves, and S-waves. P-waves move through the earth quickly, and are not noticible to humans. They are the first waves to travel from an earthquake. For this reason, we will measure the magnitude of the P-waves and determine if they are large enough to signal that Secondary waves and S-waves will follow. We will research the historical significance of P-waves in this manner of predicting. Other research shows that the recurrence of an earthquake is dependent on the seismic history of the area, so we will take geologic history into account.
Sponsoring Teacher: Diane Medford
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