Earthquakes occur when two blocks of earth suddenly slip past each other. This sudden release of energy causes the seismic waves that make the ground shake. The surface where they slip is known as the fault or fault plane.Continue Reading
According to Universe Today, earthquakes occur as a result of tectonic plates colliding and volcanic eruption. To be considered an earthquake, a shock wave has to be of natural origin. Earthquakes occur when rock underground suddenly breaks along a fault. The spot underground where the rocks break is the focus of the earthquake. The place directly above the focus on top of the ground is the epicenter of the earthquake.
Major earthquakes are often preceded by more frequent minor shocks, known as foreshocks, as the rocks begin to move. Following the main shock, further movements, known as aftershocks, occur as the rock masses settle in their new positions. Aftershocks cause problems for rescue services because they can bring down buildings that were weakened by the primary earthquake.
Earthquake-like seismic waves can also be caused by explosions underground. These explosions are triggered in order to break rock while making tunnels for roads, railroads, subways or mines. These manmade explosions, however, don't cause very strong seismic waves.Learn more about Earthquakes
Some of the most deadly and destructive earthquakes of the 21st century have taken place in Haiti in 2010, the Indian Ocean in 2004, China in 2008, Pakistan in 2005 and Iran in 2003. These rank as the largest earthquakes of the 21st century.Full Answer >
Japan is prone to earthquakes because it is within 125 miles of large tectonic plates that frequently clash together. These plates move closer together each year, further increasing the risk of earthquakes. One famous example of Japan's earthquakes is the 2011 8.9 magnitude quake, which resulted in a large tsunami.Full Answer >
The BBC explains that, in addition to a significant human death toll, earthquakes destroy the environment in the surrounding area by causing fires, tsunamis and landslides. While these events have relatively short-term environmental impacts, there are also longer-reaching consequences of an earthquake on the surrounding area.Full Answer >
Seismologists are the scientists that study earthquakes and the related activities to earthquakes. The composition and structure of the earth is also a part of what seismologists research.Full Answer >