According to the United States Geological Survey, several million earthquakes occur worldwide each year. It is difficult to refine this estimation to an exact number because many earthquakes go undetected, either because they occur in locations that are uninhabited or barely inhabited, or they are too small in magnitude to be detected by seismographs or other forms of detection.Continue Reading
While the number of smaller earthquakes has seemed to increase over the past decade, the number of earthquakes measuring at a 6.0 magnitude or higher have remained somewhat stagnant. This may be due to the fact that more seismographs have been introduced to areas of the world, allowing scientists to detect and record smaller earthquakes that otherwise would not have been detected. Most earthquakes that have occurred worldwide in the last decade have been calculated between and 2.0 and 5.0 magnitude. Approximately 17 earthquakes measuring above an 8.0 magnitude have occurred since the year 2000. None of these large earthquakes occurred in the U.S.
The average number of magnitude 5.0 to 7.9 earthquakes occurring worldwide each year since 1990 is close to 1,500. It is important to note that the U.S. Geological Survey National Earthquake Information Center does not actively locate and record earthquakes with a magnitude of 4.5 or lower occurring outside of the U.S., unless the earthquake causes considerable damage.Learn more about Earthquakes
Scientists estimate that over 10,000 earthquakes occur in California each year. Most of these go unnoticed since they are minor. For example, only several hundred have a magnitude greater than 3.0 and of these,only 15 to 30 have a magnitude in excess of 4.0.Full Answer >
While earthquakes can occur almost anywhere, they are most common around the edges of the great tectonic plates of the Earth's crust. The plates are always in motion, and the edges tend to rub up against one another, building up the energy that results in an earthquake.Full Answer >
As of October 2015, recent earthquakes occurred 11 miles southwest of Medford Oklahoma, about 19 miles southwest of Ovalle, Chile and 17 miles north of Sorong, Indonesia. Three significant earthquakes occurred in the vicinity of Illapel, Chile between Sept. 21 and 22, 2015.Full Answer >
The United States Geological Survey keeps a record of all earthquakes around the globe. In addition to providing seismic data from survey sites, the USGS also offers an application that allows users to report earthquake tremors they have felt. The USGS records all geological activity, not just earthquakes.Full Answer >