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Real World Applications – Algebra I


How do we measure the intensity of earthquakes?

Student Exploration

Here’s a clip of a compilation of the intensity of the Japan earthquake that caused the infamous tsunami.

1. What observations can you make about earthquakes?
2. At 13min into the video clip, what observations can you make about the water in the park and the cracks in the concrete?
3. What did you learn from the clip about earthquakes?

Here is a news clip that described an earthquake in South Eastern Australia.

The earthquake was measured with a magnitude of 5.3.

4. What does this measurement mean?
5. What is the Richter Scale, and how do the numbers on the scale mean?
6. How do these numbers represent exponents and scientific notation?
7. What is the difference between an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.0 and a magnitude of 5.0?


Resources Cited



http://exponents-task3.blogspot.com/p/math-behind-it.html (picture)

Connections to other CK-12 Subject Areas

Earth Science

  • plate tectonics
  • earthquakes
  • tsunamis

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