Interactive Earth Science Animations

These educational animations contain text, graphics, and video links on earthquakes, volcanoes, and earth structure. Produced by Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) sponsored by the National Science Foundation.


Orphan tsunami

How will 3 buildings, engineered equally, on different bedrock react to an earthquake?

     Plate Tectonics

What is a hotspot?

How do Earth’s tectonic plates interact?

Do subducting plates slide smoothly past one another?

How is stress stored between tectonic plates?

Do faults break all at once, or in many short segments?

What are the 4 basic classes of faults?

What happens when the crust is stretched?

GPS — Measuring Plate Motion

     Earth Structure


Same earthquake, different stations; why do the seismograms look different?

How do we capture the motion of an earthquake?

How do seismographs work?

How do earthquakes reveal secrets of Earth’s interior?

Why do seismic waves travel a curving path through the Earth?

How do P & S waves give evidence for a liquid outer core?

Can an earthquake be compared to a drop of water on a pond?


Animations about the New Madrid Seismic Zone & earthquakes of 1811–1812

How many different ways can an earthquake shake us?

Where do travel-time graphs come from?

How can you model earthquakes in the classroom?

Seismic Signatures


Subduction and Volcanoes COMING SOON!

Volcanic Monitoring

Interactive Animations

     General                                                                                   Basin and Range

Dynamic Planet- Earthquakes & Volcanoes                          Tectonics

How Are Earthquakes Located- Walk Run Activity                Earthquakes

Tectonic Plates                                                                       Volcanoes

Significant Earthquakes from 2001-2011                            Long Valley Caldera

     Pacific Northwest

Pacific Northwest vs Japan

Pacific Northwest vs Sumatra                                            Subduction Zones

Northwest Plate Rollover                                                        Chile vs Sumatra

Subduction Rollover Reveal                                                   Pacific Northwest vs Sumatra

Earthquake Depth Rollover                                                    Pacific Northwest vs Japan

Earthquake Rollover

Volcanoes Rollover