You are on page 1of 5

Such news items raises several questions like

What are earthquakes?

How do they occur?
What are the causes and effects?
Can we prevent them?
Can we predict them?

Earthquakes-causes and effects

Prof. D Chandrasekharam
Department of Earth Sciences
Head, Centre of Studies in Resources Engineering
Indian Institute of Technology Bombay

Earth structure and Interior Earth structure and Interior

Plate boundaries

Pacific ridge

Indian Ocean
Atlantic ridge

Plate boundaries Plate boundaries
Constructive boundary Destructive boundaries Himalayas

Japan California

Continental crust Ocean crust

Types of collision tectonics Pakistan Earthquake 7.2M


Earthquake foci Earthquakes in 2005

Ring of

Indian Ocean Floor Types of faults


10 Ma


38 Ma

55 Ma

75 Ma

Earthquake terms Locating an earthquake





Arrival of “P” wave Arrival of “S” wave

Tectonic map of India

Seismic Profile

Earthquake Magnitude TNT Equivalent
Richter TNT for Seismic Example
Earthquake Severity Magnitude Energy Yield (approximate)

-1.5 6 ounces Breaking a rock on a lab table

1.0 30 pounds Large Blast at a Construction Site
1.5 320 pounds
Richter Magnitude Earthquake Effects 2.0 1 ton Large Quarry or Mine Blast
2.5 4.6 tons
Less than 3.5 Generally not felt, but recorded. 3.0 29 tons
3.5 73 tons
4.0 1,000 tons Small Nuclear Weapon
3.5-5.4 Often felt, but rarely causes damage.
4.5 5,100 tons Average Tornado (total energy)
5.0 32,000 tons
5.4 - 6.1 At most slight damage to well-designed buildings. 5.5 80,000 tons Little Skull Mtn., NV Quake, 1992
Can cause major damage to poorly constructed 6.0 1 million tons Double Spring Flat, NV Quake, 1994
buildings over small regions. 6.5 5 million tons Northridge, CA Quake, 1994
7.0 32 million tons Hyogo-Ken Nanbu, Japan Quake, 1995; Largest
6.1-6.9 Can be destructive in areas up to about 100 kilometers Thermonuclear Weapon
across where people live. 7.5 160 million tons Landers, CA Quake, 1992
8.0 1 billion tons San Francisco, CA Quake, 1906
8.5 5 billion tons Anchorage, AK Quake, 1964
7.0-7.9 Major earthquake. Can cause serious damage over larger
9.0 32 billion tons Chilean Quake, 1960
areas. 10.0 1 trillion tons (San-Andreas type fault circling Earth)
12.0 160 trillion tons (Fault Earth in half through center,
8 or greater Great earthquake. Can cause serious damage in areas OR Earth's daily receipt of solar energy)
several hundred kilometers across.

Sumatra Volcanoes and earthquake foci-Indonesia

Can we predict an earthquake?

Science has not reached that

stage as yet!!

Thank You