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Moving beyond S minus P earthquake locations as "THE" lab in seismology education

Michael Hubenthal and John Taber
Moving beyond S minus P earthquake locations as "THE" lab in seismology education
Seismological Research Letters (April 2022) 93 (4): 2347-2359


Locating earthquakes is an important activity that underpins both seismological research and seismology education broadly. The seismology community tends to view the earthquake location process as a fundamental element of the field, and locating earthquakes is arguably the most common seismology education activity that middle school through introductory college students encounter. As a result, nearly all students' first, and primary, exposure to the field of seismology consists of paper seismograms, drawing compasses, and 2D maps. This occurs in an era of computers available for every student, high-speed Internet, publicly available digital waveforms, complex algorithms to solve for earthquake locations, and the Next Generation Science Standards driving public education. This article explores the origins of the S minus P location method both as a scientific solution and as an educational activity in Earth Science classrooms, and reflects on technical, pedagogical, and curricular aspects of common implementations, underpinning beliefs, and their implications. From this reflection, three opportunities are identified for the seismology community to expand the seismological horizons of Earth Science students and instructors. These include working with instructors across a range of educational levels to correct the record on how earthquakes are located, to rethink both the content and pedagogy used both to teach about the process of earthquake locations, and to define several key ways the seismology community might lead geoscience educators to move beyond earthquake locations as "THE" seismology lab used with students.

ISSN: 0895-0695
EISSN: 1938-2057
Serial Title: Seismological Research Letters
Serial Volume: 93
Serial Issue: 4
Title: Moving beyond S minus P earthquake locations as "THE" lab in seismology education
Affiliation: Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology, Washington, DC, United States
Pages: 2347-2359
Published: 20220414
Text Language: English
Publisher: Seismological Society of America, El Cerrito, CA, United States
References: 54
Accession Number: 2022-026058
Categories: Seismology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2022, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, Seismological Society of America. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 202221
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