Seismic Hazards Around the Globe: A visualization tool to bring RCA data into the classroom

[media-caption path="https://oceanobservatories.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/RCA-globe.png." link="#"]A snapshot view of seismic events centered on the Ring of Fire showing the 2011 Tahoku magnitude 9.1 earthquake. The history of quakes, until this time, is indicated by the color-coded dots that indicate location and magnitude. Source: Deb Kelley and the Center for Environmental Visualization, University of Washington[/media-caption]

As part of the continuing University of Washington engagement effort, and in preparation for the new National Science Foundation K12 education award focused on bringing OOI data into the classroom, Kelley collaborated with the Center for Environmental Visualization within the School of Oceanography to generate an earthquake exploration tool focused on seismic events within the global oceans from 1970 to present.  We anticipate that one of the curriculum modules developed for the K12 program will be focused on geohazards, with an emphasis on the Cascadia Subduction Zone within the context of the “ring of fire.”   A video of this animation is hosted on interactive oceans and a direct link to the developmental site is provided above.  The animation will be used in a Queens College physical geology class this next year that has 150 students (Dr. Dax Soule).  This effort is also in preparation for completing a similar visualization focused on Axial Seamount and Regional Cabled Array seismic data.

The data sets used for this effort include a map centered on the Pacific Ocean that shows the distribution of earthquakes of magnitude ≥6 in the U.S. Geological Survey catalog from 1970 through 2021.  The topographic dataset is licensed under Creative Commons CC BY-4.0.  The data were formatted to match the JSON format recommended for use of global visualization using the ‘Cesium’ interactive virtual earth viewer promoted within its 3D geospatial visualization for the web toolset.  The Cesium JavaScript API was utilized to implement algorithms for procedural color determination based on magnitude and hypocenter point radius animation based on the date-time of the earthquake event.  The resultant animation is highly interactive, allowing the user to choose a 3D global view or a flat view, and viewing speeds of 1-8 times.  In addition, the field of view can be changed to move to a specific area of interest and includes zoom capabilities.  A sliding time bar allows the user to focus in on particular items of interest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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