"New Hampshire gets earthquakes?" was a common question today as we dove into day 3 of Natural Hazards. Today was also not the day to wear a dress, as I got down on the floor to demonstrate P and S waves. I wish I had thought to have the students videotape me but here is a similiar demonstration to use in your class.
I am very focused on bringing all the concepts I cover in class down to the local level and this unit on Natural Hazards is a great one to align local hazards to. I spent the past two days going over what a hazard and a disaster are defined as and looking at some case studies of local events such as the Patriots Day Storm in 2007, the Ice Storm in 2008, The New Hampshire Tornado in 2008, Winter Storm Xynthia in 2009, New England Tornado Outbreak in 2010, Hurricane Irene in 2011 and the Dilly's Cliff Wildfire in 2017. Today was all about earthquakes. As a geologist, I can not pass up the opportunity to teach geology!
New Hampshire is actually a moderate seismic risk for earthquakes and we are about due for a large quake. While we do not get the volume of earthquakes that Oklahoma, California or Alaska does, we do get large quakes here. On average, earthquakes in NH are between a 2.0 and 3.5 magnitude and New England in general gets about 10-12 earthquakes each month. Our largest quake that was centered in New Hampshire occurred in 1638 as the Pilgrims were settling into Plymouth, MA. This quake is estimated to have been between a 6.0 and 7.5 magnitude.
I created a web quest for my kiddos to investigate New Hampshire and New England Earthquakes through researching various websites. This activity can be completed in one 1-hour class.