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For Kids Only

Earthquake Effects

A computer animation and paper model


Tau Rho Alpha, Robert A. Page, and Leslie C. Gordon

This report is preliminary and has not been reviewed for conformity with U. S. Geological survey editorial standards. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposed only and does not imply endorsement by the U. S. government.

Although the program has been used by the U. S. Geological Survey, no warranty, expressed or implied, is made by the USGS as to the accuracy and functioning of the program and related program material, nor shall the fact of distribution constitute any such warranty, and no responsibility is assumed by the USGS in connection therewith.

Open-File Report 92-200
Menlo Park, California


This report illustrates, by means of a computer animation, how an earthquake occurs and what types of damage may result. The report is intended to help students and others visualize what causes earthquake shaking and some of the possible results of the shaking. By studying the animation and the paper model, students will come to understand that earthquakes result from faulting in the Earth and that the potential consequences of earthquakes are numerous and serious. To order this report, contact: U. S. Geological Survey Branch of Information Services, P. O. Box 25286, Denver, CO 80225, or call (303) 202-4700 or toll-free 888-ASK-USGS (888-275-8747).

Included in this report are a template for making a paper model, instructions for assembly, educators' guide, and animations describing possible effects of an earthquake, including the collapse of structures, fire, and a tsunami.

For the following animations you will need to download a QuickTime player. Follow instructions on the Apple Site to obtain the free QuickTime player for Apple or Windows 95/98/NT computers.

For other platforms, players can be found on WWW sites such as

Earthquake triggered collapse of structures Earthquake triggered collapse of structures.
Earthquake triggered tsunami Earthquake triggered tsunami.
Earthquake triggered fire Earthquake triggered fire.
Paper Model
Print, then follow assembly instructions 1. Print the paper model page.
Select gif file,
PDF document, or
MS Word97 doc file.

2. Follow paper model assembly instructions.

Educator's Guide Discussion Questions Vocabulary Reading List How to Order

This site was selected by the sciLINKS program, a service of National Science
Teachers Association. Copyright 2001.


First Government graphic