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This screenshot from the visualization shows both continental rift zones, and ocean spreading centers, both types of divergent plate boundaries. The visualization shows how earthquakes at all types of divergent margins are shallow and have a low-magnitude. Click the image to enlarge or view the MP4 movie (MP4 Video 79.3MB Aug22 11).The purpose of this activity is to introduce students to the distribution and characteristics of earthquakes associated with divergent plate boundaries. Students will learn about how the magnitude and distribution of earthquakes at divergent boundaries are related to processes that occur at these boundaries and to the geometry and position of the two diverging plates. Because the depth of earthquakes can be difficult for students to visualize in 2D representations, this activity allows students to visualize the 3D distribution of earthquakes within Earth's surface, which is essential for understanding how different types of earthquakes occur in different tectonic settings. Locations featured in the visualization include the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the East Pacific Rise, and the East African Rift Zone. Talking points and questions are included to facilitate using this visualization as part of an interactive lecture. In addition to playing back the visualization, instructors can also download the visualization software and data set and explore it themselves.
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