Online earthquake quiz

Test your knowledge of earthquakes and seismicity by taking our online quiz. Try and answer the questions below, and then submit the form to see how well you did!

Note: This quiz is for education and entertainment uses only. No records are kept of your answers.

1. Which state in the United States has recorded the largest magnitude earthquakes (as of January 1st 2003)?
New York

2. In which country was the largest recorded magnitude earthquake (as of January 1st 2003)?
United States

3. When was the largest earthquake in California recently (historical times)?
1857, Fort Tejon
1872, Owen's Valley
1892, Imperial Valley
1906, San Francisco
1915, Pleasant Valley
1952, Kern County

4. What is the probability of an earthquake occuring today somewhere around the world?

5. At what depth do most earthquakes occur?
<16 km (<10 miles)
16 to 32 km (10 to 20 miles)
32 to 64 km (20 to 40 miles)
64 to 96 km (40 to 60 miles)
112 to 160 km(70 to 100 miles)
>160 km (> 100 miles)

6. How many detectable earthquakes are there each year? How many of these can be felt, and how many cause some damage?
50,000 detected. 5,000 can be felt, and 500 cause some damage
100,000 detected. 10,000 can be felt, and 25 cause some damage
200,000 detected. 20,000 can be felt, and 50 cause some damage
500,000 detected. 100,000 can be felt, and 100 cause some damage
750,000 detected. 200,000 can be felt, and 500 cause some damage
900,000 detected. 150,000 can be felt, and 200 cause some damage

7. Which is the most SEISMICALLY active fault zone in Southern California (see the map below)?

Fault map of Southern California

The San Andreas Fault Zone
The San Jacinto Fault Zone
The Eastern California Shear Zone
The Rose Canyon Fault Zone
The San Diego Trough Fault Zone
The Sierra Nevada Fault Zone

8. What is the average rate of motion across the San Andreas Fault Zone?
~10 mm/yr
~20 mm/yr
~30 mm/yr
~40 mm/yr
~50 mm/yr
~60 mm/yr

9. How many earthquakes in California are, on average, recorded each year?

10. A seismometer detects which type of earthquake (seismic) energy first?
P-wave first, then S-wave
S-wave first, then P-wave

11. Which is the most destructive type of earthquake (seismic) wave?
The P wave
The S wave

12. What should you do when you feel an earthquake?
Run outside to see what is happening
Run outside in case the building collapses
Stay indoors but close to a window to see what is happening outside
Stay indoors and hide away from shelves and windows in a protected place (and inform the USGS website afterwards)

13. What should you have with you to be prepared for an earthquake?
A battery operated radio
A battery powered flashlight
Enough water to last three or four days
Enough food to last three or four days
All of the above

14. How large is a magnitude 2 earthquake fault plane?
About the size of a car
About the size of basketball court
About the size of a football field
About the size of a city
About the size of a state

15. Are there negative magnitude earthquakes?

16. Do earthquakes occur on the moon ("moonquakes")?

17. Earthquakes can be influenced or caused by which of the following weather patterns?
Cold condiitons
Hot and dry conditions
Heavy rain
None of the above

URL: [Last updated: 2015-10-22 (295) 23:07:44 UTC]