Northeastern (46th Annual) and North-Central (45th Annual) Joint Meeting (20–22 March 2011)

Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


WARNOCK, Juanita, SHI, Wenzheng and REVETTA, Frank, Geology, SUNY Potsdam, 44 Pierrepont Avenue, Potsdam, NY 13676,

The AS1 seismograph provided by the IRIS Seismographs in Schools program is an excellent effective seismograph for teaching the basic principles of detection and recording earthquakes. It is capable of detecting earthquakes of magnitudes 5 or greater from around the world. It can also detect more regional earthquakes of magnitude 4 or greater. It is an extremely simple seismograph to set up and use to teach how earthquakes are detected. The software AmaSeis is free and downloaded from SUNY Binghamton. The software allows the student to receive data in real time, fit a seismogram to travel-time curves, calculate magnitudes, compute Fourier Transform to the trace, and filter data.

In 2009, over 100 earthquakes were detected and recorded by the AS1. In 2010, over 70 earthquakes were recorded including the Haiti quake, Chili quake, New Zealand, and a local Canadian quake. The recordings of the earthquakes not only arouse interest in seismology, but serve as useful teaching material for providing exercises in seismology. Exercises dealing with determination of the epicentral distance and the identification of various phases and their relation to earth’s interior are constructed from the seismograms. The magnitude of the earthquake and a Fourier Transform of the event can also be calculated. The use of the seismograms together with the IRIS teachable moments provide an interesting and motivating factor with students in the study of the earthquake.