Earthquakes occur when two blocks of Earth's crust slip past each other suddenly. Tectonic plates fit together like pieces of a puzzle and are continually moving. The edges of tectonic plates are rough and sometimes stic... More »

The surface of the earth is called the crust, and it is made up of plates, called tectonic plates, that move. Earthquakes happen when these plates bump, scrape or drag against each other. More »

Earthquakes cause direct damage when the seismic disturbance weakens and collapses buildings and other infrastructures not built to withstand the tremors. This often causes great loss of life. Other damage caused by eart... More »

According to the U.S. Geological Society, the area in the Earth's crust where an earthquake forms is called the hypocenter. Unpredictable in nature, earthquakes form when energy from the crust is released, causing vibrat... More »

The epicenter of an earthquake is the point on the surface of the Earth directly above the point in the crust where a seismic rupture occurs. This origin point within the crust is called the hypocenter or focus. More »

An earthquake is defined as a series of vibrations within the earth's crust that are caused by the rupture of its rocks. This rupture is due to the gradual accumulation of elastic strain within the crust. More »

The elastic rebound theory posits that an earthquake is the result of a sudden release of elastic energy stored in the crust of the earth. Force and shifts in rocks on either side of a fault cause distortion and displace... More »