by Ned Kahn
The exhibit consists of a vibrating base plate covered with sand. The vibrations cause the sand to move and settle in unpredictable ways. Visitors can try sculpting a landscape with their hands, then watch as the subterranean vibrations cause the landscape to change.
Tectonic refers to the structure of the earth’s crust – the layer upon which we live. This crust is in constant motion, moving sometimes gently and sometimes violently along fault lines deep beneath the surface of the earth. When we do feel movement, it’s called an earthquake. Residents of southwest Michigan experienced a very mild earthquake in July of 2002. Most of the fault lines in Michigan are very old and, fortunately, very quiet.