Earthquakes and Seismology

Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
First - time Visitors: Please visit Site Map and Disclaimer. Use "Back" to return here.


  1. Recently, a number of large earthquakes have been reported as exceeding magnitude 9. The reason is:
    1. earthquakes are getting stronger
    2. our records of earlier earthquakes were incomplete
    3. the magnitude scale for the strongest earthquakes has been redefined
  2. A seismograph is basically a:
    1. lens
    2. wheel
    3. lever
    4. pendulum
  3. The approximate deepest level of earthquakes:
    1. 10 Km
    2. 100 Km
    3. 300 Km
    4. 700 Km
  4. If you are facing a right-lateral fault, during an earthquake
    1. the opposite side of the fault moves to the right
    2. your side of the fault moves down
    3. your side of the fault moves to the right
    4. the opposite side of the fault moves down
  5. Can a seismic wave be reflected off the surface of the earth's core.
    1. yes
    2. no
  6. All earthquakes are located along plate boundaries.
    1. true
    2. false
  7. If an earthquake has a certain intensity 10 km from the fault rupture, the intensity 100 km away will probably be:
    1. greater
    2. less
    3. the same
    4. impossible to predict
  8. A type of fault that has never produced a major earthquake:
    1. left-lateral
    2. normal
    3. right-lateral
    4. reverse
    5. none of these-all types of faults produce earthquakes
  9. The least likely to cause casualties in earthquakes:
    1. building collapse
    2. shaking and vibration
    3. fire
    4. landslides
  10. Seismologists believe the Earth's core is liquid because:
    1. certain types of seismic waves to not pass through liquids
    2. the Earth wobbles on its axis
    3. it's the most logical conclusion
    4. molten rock sometimes erupts on the surface
  11. Most tsunamis occur
    1. in the Pacific
    2. during hurricanes
    3. in the Indian Ocean
    4. in Hawaii
  12. Why no earthquake greater than magnitude 10 has ever been observed:
    1. It is mathematically impossible
    2. The Richter Scale only goes to 8.
    3. We haven't been observing long enough.
    4. The crust can't store that much strain energy.
  13. It takes at least ___ seismographs at different locations to locate earthquakes accurately.
    1. six
    2. three
    3. two
    4. four
  14. If you're in a ship at sea, can you feel earthquakes? If so, which wave do you feel?
    1. Yes, the P wave
    2. Yes, the S wave
    3. Yes, a tsunami
    4. No
  15. An earthquake with negative magnitude
    1. is very tiny
    2. is very large
    3. is impossible
  16. A given seismograph will respond to
    1. all seismic waves
    2. only horizontal vibrations
    3. only vertical vibrations
    4. only vibrations in one particular direction
  17. Two survey stations on opposite sides of the San Andreas Fault are moving past one another at 4 cm per year.
    1. The crust is being strained and will eventually rupture in an earthquake
    2. The fault can be slipping smoothly.
    3. Neither a nor b is true
    4. Either a or b could be true.
  18. It takes ___ earthquakes of magnitude 4 to release as much energy as one of magnitude 5.
    1. 5 x 4 or 20
    2. 5/4 or 1.25
    3. 5+4 or 9
    4. 30
  19. In the continental U.S., earthquakes occur
    1. only in California
    2. only west of the rockies
    3. mostly in the West but occasionally in the East
    4. in a band extending from Los Angeles to Charleston
  20. Who's most likely to feel an earthquake?
    1. someone driving a car
    2. someone crossing a bridge
    3. someone on the top floor of a skyscraper
    4. someone sitting on the ground
  21. Why earthquakes cause such large death tolls in Third World countries
    1. weak but heavy construction materials
    2. more tsunamis
    3. poor hospitals
    4. stronger earthquakes
  22. How many stations, as a rule, are needed to locate an earthquake exactly?
    1. one
    2. two
    3. three
    4. four
    5. five or more
  23. When seismologists have data from ten or twenty stations:
    1. the data conflict, making it impossible to locate the earthquake
    2. the seismologist has to decide which data to us
    3. the seismologist selects the data closest to the quake
    4. the seismologist selects the data farthest from the quake
    5. the seismologist can use statistical techniques to get a very accurate location for the quake 
  24. Seismograph pendulums are designed
    1. to swing at any period at all
    2. to swing with a period longer than seismic waves
    3. to swing with a period shorter than seismic waves
    4. to swing as long as possible once starte
  25. Why it is inaccurate to say the Richter Scale "runs from one to ten"?
    1. It actually starts at zero.
    2. It actually ends at nine
    3. It starts at zero but has no upper limit.
    4. It ends at ten but has no lower limit
    5. It has to upper or lower limit.
  26. If a magnitude 3 earthquake releases one unit of energy, a magnitude zero quake:
    1. is impossible
    2. will release 27,000 units
    3. will release zero energy
    4. will release 1/27,000
    5. will release -3 units units
  27. Seismic waves arrive in the following order:
    1. P,S, surface
    2. P, surface, S
    3. S, surface, P
    4. S,P, surface
    5. surface, S,P
  28. Ships at sea off California in 1906 felt the earthquake shock. They probably felt:
    1. the S wave
    2. the P wave
    3. the surface waves
    4. a tsunami
  29. A region where our theories of plate tectonics do not provide a good explanation for earthquakes yet.
    1. the San Andreas Fault
    2. the New Madrid, Missouri region
    3. the Andes
    4. Iceland
  30. The most dangerous type of construction for earthquake-prone regions:
    1. adobe
    2. reinforced masonry
    3. concrete block
    4. steel frame
    5. wood frame
  31. A seismograph pendulum swings north-south. It will be most sensitive to:
    1. earthquakes to the north and south of its location
    2. earthquakes to the east and west of its location
    3. earthquakes deep beneath the earth
    4. it will respond equally to all quakes
  32. The instrument used to record earthquakes waves is called:
    1. quakeometer
    2. strainometer
    3. seismogram
    4. none of these
    5. seismograph
  33. How many seismograph stations are needed to locate a distant earthquake?
    1. one station
    2. four stations
    3. two stations
    4. all stations within 100 km of the focus
    5. three stations
  34. From a seismogram, the distance to an earthquake can be determined by measuring:
    1. the speed of the surface waves
    2. the ratio of the amplitude of the largest P and S waves
    3. the arrival times of the surface waves
    4. the difference in the arrival times of the P and S waves
    5. none of these
  35. The arrival time of the P and S waves recorded at one seismic station can determine:
    1. the location of the earthquake
    2. the damage at the focus
    3. the distance to the earthquake
    4. none of these
    5. the intensity of the earthquake
  36. The outer core of the earth is probably liquid because:
    1. it does not transmit S waves
    2. it must float on top of the inner core
    3. it does not transmit P and S waves
    4. it has high rigidity
    5. none of these
  37. Another name for a seismic sea wave is:
    1. tidal wave
    2. tsunami
    3. elastic sea wave
    4. bonsai
    5. none of these
  38. The core of the earth is composed primarily of:
    1. iron and sulfur
    2. iron and nickel
    3. nickel and cobalt
    4. none of these
    5. silicon and oxygen
  39. Seismic waves travel at greater speeds through:
    1. less rigid material
    2. granites than basalts
    3. more rigid material
    4. none of these
    5. the outer core than the inner core
  40. Earthquakes have been found to originate:
    1. only in the earth's crust
    2. at all depths up to 700 km
    3. only above the Moho
    4. none of these
  41. The scale for measuring earthquake intensity is:
    1. Mercalli
    2. Richter
    3. Moh's
    4. Wentworth's
  42. The vast majority of all earthquake foci occur at a depth of _____ kilometers.
    1. 20-40
    2. 40-60
    3. 60-80
    4. 80-100
    5. 100 and more
  43. With few exceptions, the most destructive earthquakes are:
    1. shallow focus
    2. intermediate focus
    3. deep focus
  44. The majority of all earthquakes occur in the:
    1. Mediterranean-Asiatic belt
    2. circum-Pacific belt
    3. interior of plates
    4. along spreading ridges
    5. circum-Atlantic belt
  45. Fractures along with no movement has occurred are:
    1. joints
    2. axial planes
    3. monoclines
    4. fold limbs
    5. transform faults
  46. The Earth's core is inferred to be:
    1. hollow
    2. composed of rock with a high silica content
    3. completely molten
    4. composed mostly of iron and nickel
    5. completely solid
  47. The asthenosphere:
    1. lies beneath the lithosphere
    2. is composed primarily of peridotite
    3. behaves plastically and flows slowly
    4. is the zone over which plates move
    5. all of these
  48. The layer between the core and the crust is the:
    1. mantle
    2. sial
    3. lithosphere
    4. innersphere
    5. sima
  49. The magnetic field is probably generated by:
    1. the tilt of the Earth's rotational axis
    2. the solar wind
    3. fluid movements in the outer core
    4. deformation of the asthenosphere
    5. a large deposit of magnetite at the North Pole
  50. Which of the following usually causes the greatest amount of damage and loss of life?
    1. fire
    2. building collapse
    3. tsunami
    4. landslides
    5. ground shaking
  51. A tsunami is a:
    1. measure of the energy released by an earthquake
    2. seismic sea wave
    3. precursor to an earthquake
    4. locked portion of a fault
    5. seismic gap
  52. Body waves are:
    1. P-waves
    2. S-waves
    3. Waves that pass through the solid interior of the earth
    4. All the above
  53. The fastest type of seismic waves are:
    1. P waves
    2. Surface waves
    3. S waves
    4. tsunami
  54. An epicenter is:
    1. the location where rupture begins
    2. the point on the Earth's surface vertically above the focus
    3. the same as the hypocenter
    4. the location where energy is released
    5. none of these
  55. When seismic waves travel through materials having different properties, their direction of travel changes. This phenomenon is wave:
    1. elasticity
    2. deflection
    3. energy dissipation
    4. reflection
    5. refraction
  56. A major seismic discontinuity at a depth of 2,900 km is the:
    1. core-mantle boundary
    2. oceanic crust-continental crust boundary
    3. Moho
    4. inner core-outer core boundary
    5. lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary
  57. A qualitative assessment of the kinds of damage done by an earthquake is expressed by:
    1. seismicity
    2. intensity
    3. dilatancy
    4. none of these
    5. magnitude
  58. How much more energy is released by a magnitude 5 earthquake than by one of the magnitude 2?
    1. 2.5 times
    2. 1,000 times
    3. 3 times
    4. 27,000 times
    5. 30 times
  59. A graben is a:
    1. fold with a horizontal axial plane
    2. type of reverse fault with a very low dip
    3. fracture along which no movement has occurred
    4. down-dropped block bounded by normal faults
    5. type of structure resulting from compression
  60. Strike-slip faults:
    1. are low-angle reverse faults
    2. have mainly vertical displacement
    3. have mainly horizontal movement
    4. are faults on which no movement has yet occurred
    5. are characterized by uplift of the footwall block
  61. Faults on which both dip-slip and strike-slip movement has occurred are referred to as:
    1. plunging
    2. nonplunging
    3. recumbent
    4. normal-slip
    5. oblique-slip
  62. The range-bounding faults in the Basin and Range Province of the western United States are _____ faults.
    1. normal
    2. strike-slip
    3. reverse
    4. oblique-slip
    5. thrust
  63. The seismic discontinuity at the base of the crust is the:
    1. magnetic anomaly
    2. high-velocity
    3. Moho
    4. transition zone
    5. geothermal gradient
  64. Seismic waves arrive in what order?
    1. P, S, Surface
    2. Surface, S, P
    3. S, P, Surface
    4. S, Surface, P
    5. Surface, P, S

Click here to return to Physical Geology Test Bank Index
Click here to return to Professor Dutch's home page

Created 3 January 1997, Last Update 24 Feb 2011