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What is an earthquake?
Earthquakes are the shaking and vibration of the Earths crust due to movement of
its plates called tectonic plates. It can happen along any type of plate boundary.
Earthquakes occur when tension is released from inside of the crust.
These are usually caused when rock underground suddenly breaks along a fault.
This sudden release of energy causes the seismic waves that make the ground shake.
When two blocks of rock or two plates are rubbing against each other, they stick a little.
They don't just slide smoothly; the rocks catch on each other. The rocks are still pushing
against each other, but not moving. After a while, the rocks break because of all the
pressure that's built up. When the rocks break, the earthquake occurs. During the
earthquake and afterward, the plates or blocks of rock start moving, and they continue
to move until they get stuck again. The spot underground where the rock breaks is
called the focus of the earthquake. The place right above the focus (on top of the
ground) is called the epicenter of the earthquake.
Earthquake-like seismic waves can also be caused by explosions underground.
These explosions may be set off to break rock while making tunnels for roads, railroads,
subways, or mines. These explosions, however, don't cause very strong seismic waves.
You may not even feel them. Sometimes seismic waves occur when the roof or walls of
a mine collapse. These can sometimes be felt by people near the mine. The largest
underground explosions, from tests of nuclear warheads (bombs), can create seismic
waves very much like large earthquakes. This fact has been exploited as a means to
enforce the global nuclear test ban, because no nuclear warhead can be detonated on
earth without producing such seismic waves.
These shakings are recorded by instruments called seismographs. The recording they
make is called a seismogram. The seismograph has a base that sets firmly in the
ground, and a heavy weight that hangs free. When an earthquake causes the ground to
shake, the base of the seismograph shakes too, but the hanging weight does not.
Instead the spring or string that it is hanging from absorbs all the movement. The

difference in position between the shaking part of the seismograph and the motionless
part is what is recorded.
Tectonic plates (also called lithospheric plates) are the massive, irregularly
shaped slab of solid rock, generally composed of both continental an oceanic
lithosphere. Plate size can vary greatly, from a few hundred to thousands of kilometers
across. The Pacific and Antarctic Plates are among the largest.
To measure earthquakes, seismographers use the seismogram recordings made on
the seismographs at the surface of the earth to determine how large the earthquake
was. A short wiggly line that doesnt wiggle very much means a small earthquake, and a
long wiggly line that wiggles a lot means a large earthquake. The length of the wiggle
depends on the size of the fault, and the size of the wiggle depends on the amount of
slip. The size of the earthquake is called its magnitude. There is one magnitude for each
earthquake. Scientists also talk about the intensity of shaking from an earthquake, and
this varies depending on where you are during the earthquake. The size of the
earthquake is called its magnitude. There is one magnitude for each earthquake.
Scientists also talk about the intensity of shaking from an earthquake, and this varies
depending on where you are during the earthquake.

Can earthquakes be man-made?

According to scientists, earthquakes can actually be man-made. Construction of
dams and reservoirs can cause earthquakes because it a faults rupture could easily be
hastened by the construction of said dams and reservoirs. Ground water extraction
could cause earthquakes as well because Taking water out of ground, which causes the
water table to drop, can also destabilize an existing fault. Another reason why men can
make earthquakes is hydraulic fracturing because when it comes to hydraulic fracturing,
or fracking, it's actually not the extraction of oil or gas that's the problem. . It's what
happens to those afterward, when waste fracking fluid is injected back underground into
deep wells. The fluid can seep out and lubricate faults, causing them to slip more easily.
Skyscrapers can cause earthquakes because of its mass the ground would not

withstand the weight of large skyscrapers and it would cause micro earthquakes and
major earthquakes.

Magnitude of earthquakes is a measure of the amount of energy released during
an earthquake. It is frequently described using the Richter scale. To calculate
magnitude, the amplitude of waves on a seismogram is measured, correcting for the
distance between the recording instrument and the earthquake epicenter. Since
magnitude is representative of the earthquake itself, there is only one magnitude per

Difference of between intensity and magnitude

The intensity scale is designed to describe the effects of an earthquake, at a
given place, on a natural feature, on industrial installations and on human beings. The
intensity differs from the magnitude which is related to the energy released by an

What are tsunamis?

Tsunamis are giant waves caused by earthquakes or volcanic eruptions under
the sea. Out in the depths of the ocean, tsunami waves do not dramatically increase in
height. But as the waves travel inland, they build up to higher and higher heights as the
depth of the ocean decreases. The speed of tsunami waves depends on ocean depth
rather than the distance from the source of the wave. Tsunami waves may travel as fast
as jet planes over deep waters, only slowing down when reaching shallow waters. While
tsunamis are often referred to as tidal waves, this name is discouraged by
oceanographers because tides have little to do with these giant waves.

Tsunamis can be generated when the sea floor abruptly deforms and vertically
displaces the overlying water. Tectonic earthquakes are a particular kind of earthquake
that are associated with earths crustal deformation; when these earthquakes occur
beneath the sea, the water above the deformed area is displaced from its equilibrium.
When large areas of the sea floor elevate or subside, a tsunami can be created.
Large vertical movements of the earths crust can occur at plate boundaries. Plates
interact along these boundaries called faults. Around the margins of the Pacific Ocean,
for example, denser oceanic plates slip under continental plates in a process known as
subduction. Subduction earthquakes are particularly effective in generating tsunamis.


A severe earthquake that occurred on February 27, 2010, off the coast of southcentral Chile, causing widespread damage on land and initiating a tsunami that








the earthquake and tsunami were responsible for more than 500 deaths. The magnitude
8.8 earthquake struck at 3:34


The epicenter was located some 200 miles (325 km)

southwest of the Chilean capital of Santiago, and the focus occurred at a depth of about
22 miles (35 km) below the surface of the Pacific Ocean. The earthquake resulting from
the rupture of a 300- to 375-mile (500- to 600-km) stretch of the fault that separates the
South American Plate from the sub ducting Nazca Plate was felt as far away as So
Paolo, Brazil, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. A 2014 study contended that water pressure
built up between the two plates had been the catalyst. The initial event was succeeded
in the following weeks by hundreds of aftershocks, many of them of magnitude 5.0 or
greater. The temblor was the strongest to strike the region since the magnitude-9.5
event of 1960, considered to be the most powerful earthquake ever recorded.

Though damage to structures within the zone of the earthquake was likely limited
by stringent building codes instituted in the wake of the 1960 earthquake and revised
several times during the 1990s, many buildings still sustained significant damage,
including nearly 400,000 homes. Particularly affected were Maule and Biobo, two firstorder administrative districts along Chiles southern coast. Large areas of Biobo were
left without major services, including water, electricity, and gas, and the tall buildings of
Concepcin the capital of the district and one of Chiles largest cities were among those
most severely damaged. Copper productiona major contributor to Chiles economy
was halted at several mines, though it resumed after limited power was restored the day
after the quake. The weakened state of the electrical grid became apparent when large
swathes of the country including Santiago, which had already endured a week without
power following the catastrophe were faced with a daylong blackout in mid-March after
a major transformer failed.
Tectonic up thrust is caused by a quake or event which causes massive amounts
of water to be displace. This cause the wave length to be able to reach 500mph and
they are not visible since the wave height is very small. This is an example of Newtons

law of Action Reaction since the tectonic up thrust was the action and the
displacement of water was the reaction.
The tsunami waves build up speed and force before approaching a landmass.
This is an example of Newtons law of Acceleration since the waves are smaller it
doesnt need as much force to make it go faster.
The waves reach the shallow water, slowing down because of friction. The wave then
rolls up into a wall of water, before it breaks against the shore. This is an example of
Newtons law of Inertia since the waves slow down when friction acts upon it.
Earthquakes can also form by the moving of tectonic plates. When rocks are
compressed a reverse fault may form. This would be an example of Newtons law of
action and reaction since the tectonic plate would be the action force. The reaction force
would be the vibration in the ground.

Is it possible to prevent earthquakes?

Earthquakes cannot be prevented by human beings from occurring but the latter
can prevent significantly mitigate their effects by identifying hazards, building safer
structures, and providing education on earthquake safety. By preparing for natural
earthquakes, human beings can also reduce the risk from human-induced earthquakes.