News Release 112

Active Earth Kiosk makes debut in Rolla

Geology and Land Survey division hosts interactive, computer-based educational tool

Volume 38-112 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Hylan Beylder

ROLLA, MO, MARCH 9, 2010 -- Visitors to Rolla's Ed Clark Museum of Missouri Geology will find a new, interactive earthquake exhibit that will pique the interest of children and adults interested in learning about our active Earth.

The Active Earth Kiosk is an interactive computer-based educational tool that provides information about plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis.  The Active Earth Kiosk is being made available to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' Division of Geology and Land Survey through Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS), a university consortium sponsored by the National Science Foundation that is dedicated to the operation of scientific facilities for the acquisition, management, and distribution of freely available seismic data.

Recipients are eligible to receive an Active Earth Kiosk while the U.S. Transportable Array is in their state. The Transportable Array is a large network of 400 high-quality, portable seismographs that are being placed in temporary sites across the United States in a rolling fashion. Western Missouri will receive their seismographs this year, and the remainder of the state's array will be deployed in 2011.

"We are very appreciative that IRIS chose us to host the Active Earth Kiosk," said Joe Gillman, state geologist and DNR Division of Geology Director. "We are especially pleased to have the Kiosk as we lead up to and during the 200th anniversary of the New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-1812." 

Hosting the Active Earth Kiosk is only one of the activities the Department is planning to mark the anniversary. 

The 1811-1812 earthquakes are the most intense intraplate earthquake series to have occurred in the contiguous U.S.  An intraplate earthquake is an earthquake that occurs in the interior of a tectonic plate, whereas an interplate earthquake is one that occurs at a plate boundary, such as those occurring in the state of California. A good deal is known about California earthquakes, but much remains to learn about earthquakes in Missouri.  The department provides scientific data for researchers and the general public about the NMSZ, mapping for risk assessment, as well as earthquake hazard maps for the public so that all citizens are earthquake aware.

The Ed Clark Museum of Missouri Geology is located at the Division of Geology and Land Survey, 111 Fairgrounds Road, Rolla.  Admission to the museum is free.  Hours of operation are from 8 a.m. -- 5 p.m. weekdays.  The museum will be home base for the kiosk.  It will also travel to fairs and to other locations in the state through December 31, 2011.  For a sneak peek at one of the seismic offerings available, visit this IRIS website:  The museum also houses rocks, minerals and fossils found in Missouri.  Visit online for more information: 


Editor:  Photo is available at

aption:  Cheryl Tiefenthaler, DNR, demonstrates the use of the Active Earth Kiosk.  The kiosk is an interactive computer-based educational tool that provides information about plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis.  Visit the department's Geology and Land Survey Division, in Rolla, to see kiosk.