Earthquake, any sudden shaking of the ground caused by the passage of seismic waves through Earth’s rocks. How Often Do Earthquakes Occur?
Scientists aren't yet able to predict earthquakes, but people living near fault lines can help protect themselves by living in earthquake-protected housing and practicing earthquake drills. Share; Tweet; LinkedIn; Pin; Email ; The earth is a fascinating body that has a lot going on within it, much more than what the human eye can see. Tectonic earthquakes occur anywhere in the earth where there is sufficient stored elastic strain energy to drive fracture propagation along a fault plane.The sides of a fault move past each other smoothly and aseismically only if there are no irregularities or asperities along the fault surface that increase the frictional resistance. The world's greatest earthquake belt, the circum-Pacific seismic belt, is found along the rim of the Pacific Ocean, where about 81 percent of our planet's largest earthquakes occur. Learn More All About Earthquakes and Why They Happen. In fact, the National Earthquake Information Center locates about 12,000-14,000 earthquakes each year! It is thought that 17% of the largest and most destructive earthquakes occur here. Earthquakes can strike any location at any time, but history shows they occur in the same general patterns year after year, principally in three large zones of the earth:. An earthquake is one such phenomenon, which is again enveloped in mystery and fear. A simplified cartoon of the crust (brown), mantle (orange), and core (liquid in light gray, solid in dark gray) of the earth. Let's take a look at how it happens. Imagine that you’re sitting in school when the ground begins to shake. Earthquakes around magnitude 7 were frequent in the late 60’s and early 70’s. These are smaller earthquakes that occur afterwards in the same place as the mainshock.
Pressure slowly starts to build up where the edges are stuck and, once the pressure gets strong enough, the plates will suddenly move causing an earthquake.
Sometimes the edges, which are called fault lines, can get stuck, but the plates keep moving. Earthquakes can also rarely occur in the middle of tectonic plates. Although most of these earthquakes are too small to feel, some have been large enough to cause moderate structural damage and personal injury, such as the magnitude 5.6 earthquake that struck near Prague, Oklahoma, in 2011, and probably the magnitude 5.8 earthquake that struck near Pawnee, Oklahoma, in 2016. There are many earthquake-prone areas across the world.
Novice Spanish. Learn more about the causes and effects of earthquakes in this article. Share it!
Earthquakes usually occur on the edges of large sections of the Earth's crust called tectonic plates. An earthquake damages buildings and land, causes tsunamis and has many other disastrous effects. Earthquakes occur where two plates bang up against each other and do not slide along each other smoothly. Depending on the size of the mainshock, aftershocks can continue for weeks, months, and even years after the mainshock! (Public domain.) These plates slowly move over a long period of time. Earthquakes around magnitude 7 were frequent in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Resource Files Fact Sheet #3 (Low-res) Download All 348KB. That’s what happens when an earthquake occurs. The devastating 7.0 earthquake hitting Haiti in January 2010 and took away more than 200,000 precious lives, the massive 8.2 magnitude earthquake in Fiji in August, the 7.5 earthquake in Indonesia in September, and a 7.9 magnitude earthquake in Fiji during September, all make us shudder. Earthquakes are the most deadly of all natural disasters. Earth is an active place and earthquakes are always happening somewhere.
When one block suddenly slips and moves relative to the other along a fault, the energy released creates vibrations called seismic waves that radiate up through the crust to the earth’s surface, causing the ground to shake.
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