Find a
Select grade level(s) Select resource type(s) Select collection(s) Select standard(s) Skip navigation Digital Library for Earth System Education
Digital Library for Earth System Education
Search tips
Where's my Epicenter?
In this exercise, students will use two shake intensity maps with Modified Mercalli Intensity values, one of the New Madrid Earthquake and the other of Southern California, to determine the location of earthquake epicenters. They will draw curves that enclose areas of similar intensity (as given by the numerical values representing the reports of witnesses), look for patterns or closures in the isoseismal lines, and choose their epicenter location based on the patterns they see. Study questions, links to additional information on the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale, to felt reports, and to example maps, are included.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Classroom activity
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Geophysics
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
The user is granted the right, without any fee or cost, to access, link to and use, publish, distribute, disseminate, transfer, or in any manner alter, modify, revise, copy, edit, or digitize, for any non-profit training, research, or educational purpose whatsoever and not for any direct or indirect commercial purpose or advantage. Any copyright notice contained in this Disclaimer Notice or in any other part of this website shall remain intact and unaltered and shall be affixed to any use or copy of all or any such part of this website. The user must include an appropriate citation crediting the source of all or any portion of this website as follows: "The source of this material is the Digital Library for Earth System Education website at All Rights Reserved."
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-009-339
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE)
Teaching Boxes