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Live Web Chat: Earthquakes - How, Where and Why?
haze over Santiago, Chile, after earthquakeHaze lingered over the metropolitan area of Santiago, Chile, following a magnitude 8.8 earthquake on February 27, 2010. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite captured this view. Image credit: NASA

JPL's Margaret GlasscoeNASA/JPL scientist Margaret Glasscoe will answer questions during a live chat. Image credit: NASA/JPL
This is a feature from the NASA/JPL Education Office.

Chat transcript

A magnitude 8.8 quake in Chile over the weekend is the latest in a spate of very large and deadly earthquakes. What causes these temblors? Is there any way to forecast them? Is the recent earthquake activity unusual? Earthquakes provide visible examples of plate tectonics in action.

Join NASA/JPL scientist Margaret Glasscoe live on the Web as she answers these questions and more. The text-based chat, intended for middle- and high-school students and teachers, will be on Thursday, Mar. 4 at 1 p.m. Eastern/10 a.m. Pacific.

Glasscoe is geophysicist who studies the long-term effects of earthquakes and fault interactions using computer models. She specializes in studying earthquakes in California.

Classrooms can participate in two ways. Students and teachers can submit questions in advance to or they can join in the live Web chat. A transcript of the live chat will be available after the program.

To participate in the live chat, come back to this Web page ( and follow the instructions below:

1. Bookmark the page. Come back on Thursday, Mar. 4 up to 10 minutes prior to the start of the chat. You will find the "Earthquakes: How, Where and Why?" chat screen located below the gray box.
2. Create and enter a User Name that you will use during the chat.
3. Click "Connect."
4. A window will open and tell you the status of the room. From there you can post questions.
5. Please note that this will be a moderated chat. Questions and answers will be screened by moderators before posting.

Susan Watanabe
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.