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More than 500,000 times a year, the Earth’s crust shakes suddenly due to an earthquake. Many are slight and would be easy to sleep through, but others cause devastation and kill thousands – mostly under collapsing buildings.

By studying earthquake regions and damage, geoscientists help save lives – warning those at risk, showing them how to prepare and to protect themselves, and advising on the siting, design and construction of buildings. We have a number of resources relating to earthquakes, which are available to view by clicking on the links on the right hand side and below.

Resources from the Geological Society


Earthquakes factsheet

How do earthquakes happen? Where are they most likely to occur? How are they measured? Find out in our factsheets for primary and secondary students and the general public.


Online interactive resource: Plate Tectonics

Find out about the structure of the Earth's tectonic plates, the different types of plate boundaries and the pioneers of plate tectonics using our interactive online module designed for Key Stage 4-5 students and teachers.
Plate Tectonic Stories

Plate Tectonic Stories

Learn about the tectonic history of the UK and elsewhere!


Articles & blog posts

Christchurch earthquake: what happened? (Geoscientist, June 2011)

Christchurch quake memories (Geoscientist, June 2011)

Major earthquake in Britain 'overdue'? (Geoscientist, Sept 2010)

Lessons from Haiti (Geoscientist, Sept 2010)

Cluster's last stand? (Geoscientist, March 2009)


Shale Gas & Fracking

What is Hydraulic Fracturing ('Fracking')? What safety measures are in place and can it cause earthquakes? Find out more in our resources for policy and decision-makers as well as the wider public.

Earthquake Case Studies


Find out more about recent earthquakes:


Earthquakes: prediction, forecasting and mitigation

Can we predict earthquakes? Find out in our policy briefing..


Geology for Society: Hazards and Risk

Find out about geological hazards in the UK and worldwide, and the importance of communicating the uncertainties involved, in our resource aimed at policy and decision-makers as well as the wider public.

Resources from other organisations


Discovering Geology: Resources from the BGS

Education resources from the British Geological Survey for schools and colleges, lifelong learners or anyone interested in the Earth. Topics include geological hazards, time, climate change and the geology of Britain. Install a seismometer in your school to detect earthquakes or explore UK geology with Minecraft.
Deep Earth explorers resource image

Deep Earth Explorers resources

Seismology and Earth structure themed lessons aimed at KS3 and KS4 built around key concepts covered in maths and science syllabuses. Resources designed with teachers, students, outreach experts and scientific researchers to bring together accurate, relevant scientific concepts in fun and interactive ways.


USGS World Earthquakes map

A live map from the US Geological Survey of earthquakes around the world.

Earthquake Teachable Moments from IRIS

Free resources, presentations and classroom insight on recent significant earthquakes, from Incorporated Research Organisations for Society, a consortium of US universities.

Virtual Experiments

Interactive animated experiments from the Earth Science Teachers' Association (ESTA). Topics include rock strength, metamorphism, resistivity, porosity, permeability, speed of cooling, boreholes and earthquakes.

School resources by level & age

Key Stages, GCSEs and A Levels refer to the National Curriculum taught in England, Wales & Northern Ireland; Levels, Standards and Highers refer to the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence.

Plate Tectonic Stories Posters

We have produced A1 sized educational posters on plate tectonics for KS2-3 and KS4-5.