Southeastern Section - 62nd Annual Meeting (20-21 March 2013)

Paper No. 10
Presentation Time: 11:15 AM


ACOSTA COLÓN, Angel A., Physics & Chemistry Department, University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo, PO Box 4010, Arecibo, PR 00614-4010 and MELENDEZ, Ivan, Computer Science Department, University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo, PO Box 4010, Arecibo, PR 00614-4010,

Google earth is a virtual globe that can be edited with geographical information from a user. Our main goal was to use this free software to develop an educational tool for K-6 educators. We created a web application that can show the earthquake history of the Puerto Rico region. First, we collected the earthquakes data: position (latitude and longitude), magnitude and depth from the Puerto Rico Seismic Network online data center. The data was organized by year (from 2004 to mid-2012) and also by magnitude (0 – 7) to be used as option in the graphic user interface (GUI) menu in the application and for possible data analysis if needed. A statistical analysis of the earthquakes was performed to obtain general knowledge of earthquakes that the educator can use in the classroom such as: quantities of earthquakes per year, magnitude events per year and other educational information that we can obtain from the data. Using USGS Google Earth KML codes available, we edited them and created a color-diameter scale for the visualization of the earthquakes in the Puerto Rico region. The educator then can use this web application to show the students the past earthquakes in the region of interest (i.e. near school), their magnitude, depth, etc. Also the educator can present, in a dynamic way, regions were the earthquake occurs such as faults zones (i.e. north Puerto Rico trench) to explain the plate tectonics of the area. This web application will help the educator to create interest in the students in the geosciences area, especially in earthquakes and plate tectonics by using this technology in the classroom.