Our planet certainly does like to shake, rattle, and roll! In Earthquakes, kids get the inside story on the biggest, the baddest, and the wettest earthquakes (more on that later) of all time, including the Anchorage ripper of 1964 and San Francisco’s “Great Quake” of 1906. Start off with facts about why quakes happen, the elastic rebound theory, the three kinds of seismic waves, and the role played by plate tectonics in causing big shakes. Measuring and predicting earthquakes, for kids, is up next: They’ll learn all about the Richter scale and visit Parkfield, California – a town dedicated to experiments that monitor quakes.
Now what was that about water and earthquakes? Going on, take a look at how tsunamis – powerful walls of water that can destroy entire cities – are generated by quakes at sea, and learn about the relationship between earthquakes and volcanoes. Then take a tour of the ruins of Kourion, a town in Cyprus that was completely wiped off the map by an earthquake and tsunami in A.D. 365. Finally, find out how foreshocks, animal behavior, and rising radon levels in water can predict earthquakes; for kids who want to be prepared, there is also a section on what to do when the ground starts to shake.