“Volcanoes and Earthquakes”

Prepared by: ASPILI, Alleli A. BSBAMM2A Submitted to: Mrs. Anita Orteza


≈ A volcano is an opening, or rupture, in a planet's surface

or crust, which allows hot, molten rock, ash, and gases to escape from below the surface.
≈ A volcano is mountain or hill formed by the accumulation

of materials erupted through one or more openings (called volcanic vents) in the Earth's surface. The term volcano can also refer to the vents themselves. Most volcanoes have steep sides, but some can be gently sloping mountains or even flat tablelands, plateaus, or plains.

≈ Volcano is thought to derive from Vulcano, a volcanic

island in the Aeolian Islands of Italy whose name in turn originates from Vulcan, the name of a god of fire in Roman mythology. The study of volcanoes is called volcanology, sometimes spelled vulcanology.
≈ The Roman name for the island Vulcano has contributed the word for volcano in most modern European


≈ Volcanoes are generally found where tectonic plates are diverging or converging. A mid-oceanic ridge, for example the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, has examples of volcanoes caused by "divergent tectonic plates" pulling apart; the Pacific Ring of Fire has examples of volcanoes caused by "convergent tectonic plates" coming together.

Volcanoes can also form where there is stretching and thinning of
the Earth's crust (called "non-hotspot intraplate volcanism"). ≈ Volcanoes can be caused by "mantle plumes". These so-called "hotspots" , for example at Hawaii, can occur far from plate boundaries. Hotspot volcanoes are also found elsewhere in the solar system, especially on rocky planets and moons.

Plate Tectonics

Plate Tectonics
≈ Plate Tectonics, theory that the outer shell of the earth is

made up of thin, rigid plates that move relative to each other.
The theory of plate tectonics was formulated during the early 1960s, and it revolutionized the field of geology. Scientists

have successfully used it to explain many geological events,
such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions as well as mountain building and the formation of the oceans and continents.

Plate Tectonics
≈ Plate tectonics arose from an earlier theory proposed by German scientist Alfred Wegener in 1912. Looking at the shapes of the continents, Wegener found that they fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. Using this observation, along with geological evidence he found on different continents, he developed the theory of continental drift, which states that today’s continents were once joined together into one large landmass.

Tectonic Plates
≈ A tectonic plate (also called lithospheric plate) is a massive,

irregularly shaped slab of solid rock, generally composed of
both continental and 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. Plate thickness also varies greatly, ranging from less than 15 km for young oceanic lithosphere to about 200 km or more for ancient continental lithosphere

Tectonic Plates
≈ Tectonic plates are made of either oceanic or continental

crust and the very top part of the mantle, a layer of rock inside
the earth. This crust and upper mantle form what is called the lithosphere. Under the lithosphere lies a fluid rock layer called

the asthenosphere. The rocks in the asthenosphere move in a
fluid manner because of the high temperatures and pressures found there. ≈ Tectonic plates are able to float upon the fluid asthenosphere because they are made of rigid lithosphere

Continental Crust
≈ The earth’s solid surface is about 40 percent continental crust. Continental crust is much older, thicker and less dense than oceanic crust. The thinnest continental crust, between plates that are moving apart, is about 15 km (about 9 mi) thick. In other places, such as mountain ranges, the crust may be as much as 75 km (47 mi) thick. Near the surface, it is composed of rocks that are felsic (made up of minerals including feldspar and silica). Deeper in the continental crust, the composition is mafic (made of magnesium, iron, and other minerals).

Oceanic Crust
≈ Oceanic crust makes up the other 60 percent of the earth’s solid surface. Oceanic crust is, in general, thin and dense. It is constantly being produced at the bottom of the oceans in places called midocean ridges—undersea volcanic mountain chains formed at plate boundaries where there is a build-up of ocean crust. This production of crust does not increase the physical size of the earth, so the material produced at mid-ocean ridges must be recycled, or consumed, somewhere else. Geologists believe it is recycled back into the earth in areas called subduction zones, where one plate sinks underneath another and the crust of the sinking plate melts back down into the earth. Oceanic crust is continually recycled so that its age is generally not greater than 200 million years. Oceanic crust averages between 5 and 10 km (between 3 and 6 mi) thick.

Divergent Plate Boundaries
≈ Divergent plate boundaries occur where two plates are moving apart from each other. When plates break apart, the lithosphere thins and ruptures to form a divergent plate boundary. In the oceanic crust, this process is called seafloor spreading, because the splitting plates are spreading apart from each other. On land, divergent plate boundaries create rift valleys—deep valley depressions formed as the land slowly splits apart. ≈ When seafloor spreading occurs, magma, or molten rock material, rises to the sea floor surface along the rupture. As the magma cools, it forms new oceanic crust and lithosphere. The new lithosphere is less dense, so it rises, or floats, higher above older lithosphere, producing long submarine mountain chains known as mid-ocean ridges.

Mid-Atlantic Ridge
≈ The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is an underwater mountain range created at a divergent plate boundary in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It is part of a worldwide system of ridges made by seafloor spreading. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is currently spreading at a rate of 2.5 cm per year (1 in per year). The mid-ocean ridges today are 60,000 km (about 40,000 mi) long, forming the largest continuous mountain chain on earth. Earthquakes, faults, underwater volcanic eruptions, and vents, or openings, along the mountain crests produce rugged seafloor features, or topography.

Convergent Plate Boundaries
≈ Convergent plate boundaries occur where plates are consumed, or recycled back into the earth’s mantle. There are three types of convergent plate boundaries: between two oceanic plates, between an oceanic plate and a continental plate, and between two continental plates. Subduction zones are convergent regions where oceanic crust is thrust below either oceanic crust or continental crust. Many earthquakes occur at subduction zones, and volcanic ridges and oceanic trenches form in these areas.

Convergent Plate Boundaries
≈ In the ocean, convergent plate boundaries occur where

an oceanic plate descends beneath another oceanic plate. Chains of active volcanoes develop 100 to 150 km (60 to 90 mi) above the descending slab as magma rises from under the plate. Also, where the crust slides down into the earth, a trench forms. Together, the volcanoes and trench form an intra-oceanic island arc and trench system.

Convergent Plate Boundaries
≈ A good example of such a system is the Mariana Trench system in the western Pacific Ocean, where the Pacific plate is descending under the Philippine plate. In these areas, earthquakes are frequent but not large. Stress in and behind the arc often causes the arc and trench system to move toward the incoming plate, which opens small ocean basins behind the arc. This process is called back-arc seafloor spreading.

Convergent Plate Boundaries
≈ Convergent boundaries that occur between the ocean and land create continental margin arc and trench systems near the margins, or edges, of continents. Volcanoes also form here. Stress can develop in these areas and cause the rock layers to fold, leading to earthquake faults, or breaks in the earth’s crust called thrust faults. The folding and thrust faulting thicken the continental crust, producing high mountains. Many of the world’s large destructive earthquakes and major mountain chains, such as the Andes Mountains of western South America, occur along these convergent plate boundaries.

A Volcano’s Structure

Structure of a Volcano
≈ A volcano constitutes a vent, a pipe, a crater, and a cone. ≈ The vent is an opening at the Earth's surface. ≈ The pipe is a passageway in the volcano in which the magma rises through to the surface during an eruption. ≈ The crater is a bowl-shaped depression at the top of the volcano where volcanic materials like, ash, lava, and other pyroclastic materials are released.

≈ Solidified lava, ashes, and cinder form the cone. Layers of lava, alternate with layers of ash to build the steep sided cone higher and higher.

Structure of a Volcano

Types of Volcano

Cinder Cones
≈ Cinder cones are the simplest type of volcano. They are

built from particles and blobs of congealed lava ejected from a single vent. As the gas-charged lava is blown violently into the air, it breaks into small fragments that solidify and fall as cinders around the vent to form a circular or oval cone. Most cinder cones have a bowlshaped crater at the summit and rarely rise more than a thousand feet or so above their surroundings.

Cinder Cones
≈ A cinder cone is a steep conical hill formed above a

vent. Cinder cones are among the most common volcanic
landforms found in the world. They aren't famous as their eruptions usually don't cause any loss of life. Cinder cones

are chiefly formed by Strombolian eruptions. The cones
usually grow up in groups and they often occur on the flanks of strato volcanoes and shield volcanoes. ≈ Cinder cones are built from lava fragments called cinders. The lava fragments are ejected from a single vent and accumulate around the vent when they fall back to earth.

Cinder Cones
≈ Cinder cones grow rapidly and soon approach their

maximum size. They rarely exceed 250m in height and 500m
in diameter. ≈ The shape of a cinder cone can be modified during its

(short) life. When the position of the vent alters, aligned, twin
or secant cones develop. Nested , buried or breached cones are formed when the power of the eruption varies.

Cinder Cone
≈ A great example of a cinder cone is Paricutín in Mexico. It was born in February 20, 1943 in a corn field and grew to 300 feet in 5 days.

Schematic representation of the internal structure of a typical cinder cone.

Composite Volcano
≈ Composite volcanoes, also called strato volcanoes, are

formed by alternating layers of lava and rock fragments. This
is the reason they are called composite. ≈ Strato-volcanoes often form impressive, snow-capped peaks

which are often exceeding 2500m in height, 1000sq.km in
surface, and 400km3 in volume. ≈ Between eruptions they are often so quiet they seem extinct. To witness the start of a great eruption requires luck or very careful surveillance.

Composite Volcano
≈ Composite volcanoes usually erupt in an explosive way. This is usually caused by viscous magma. When very viscous magma rises to the surface, it usually clogs the crater pipe, and gas in the crater pipe gets locked up. Therefore, the pressure will increase resulting in an explosive eruption.

Composite Volcano
≈ Most composite volcanoes have a crater at the summit which contains a central vent or a clustered group of vents. Lavas either flow through breaks in the crater wall or issue from fissures on the flanks of the cone. Lava, solidified within the fissures, forms dikes that act as ribs which greatly strengthen the cone. ≈ The essential feature of a composite volcano is a conduit system through which magma from a reservoir deep in the Earth's crust rises to the surface. The volcano is built up by the accumulation of material erupted through the conduit and increases in size as lava, cinders, ash, etc., are added to its slopes.

Composite Volcano
≈ When a composite volcano becomes dormant, erosion begins

to destroy the cone. As the cone is stripped away, the
hardened magma filling the conduit (the volcanic plug) and fissures (the dikes) becomes exposed, and it too is slowly

reduced by erosion. Finally, all that remains is the plug and
dike complex projecting above the land surface--a telltale remnant of the vanished volcano.

Evolution of Composite Volcano

A. Magma, rising upward through a conduit, erupts at the Earth's surface to form a volcanic cone. Lava flows spread over the surrounding area. B. As volcanic activity continues, perhaps over spans of hundreds of years, the cone is built to a great height and lava flows form an extensive plateau around its base. During this period, streams enlarge and deepened their valleys. C. When volcanic activity ceases, erosion starts to destroy the cone. After thousands of years, the great cone is stripped away to expose the hardened "volcanic plug" in the conduit. During this period of inactivity, streams broaden their valleys and dissect the lava plateau to form isolated lava-capped mesas. D. Continued erosion removes all traces of the cone and the land is worn down to a surface of low relief. All that remains is a projecting plug or "volcanic neck," a small lava-capped mesa, and vestiges of the once lofty volcano and its surrounding lava plateau.

Schematic representation of the internal structure of a typical composite volcano.

Composite Volcanoes
Mount Fuji, an active
stratovolcano in Japan that last erupted in 1707-08

Mount St. Helens — a
stratovolcano in the U.S. state of Washington — the day before the May 18, 1980 eruption that removed much of the top of the mountain.

Composite Volcanoes
Popocatépetl, an
active stratovolcano in Mexico

The Mayon Volcano, the most
active stratovolcano in the Philippines.

Shield Volcanoes
≈ Shield volcanoes, the third type of volcano, are built almost

entirely of fluid lava flows. Flow after flow pours out in all
directions from a central summit vent, or group of vents, building a broad, gently sloping cone of flat, domical shape,

with a profile much like that of a warrior's shield. They are
built up slowly by the accretion of thousands of highly fluid lava flows called basalt lava that spread widely over great distances, and then cool as thin, gently dipping sheets. Lavas

also commonly erupt from vents along fractures (rift zones)
that develop on the flanks of the cone.

Shield Volcanoes
≈ Shield volcanoes may be produced by hot spots which

lay far away from the edges of tectonic plates. Shields also occur along the mid-oceanic ridge, where sea-floor spreading is in progress and along subduction related volcanic arcs.
≈ The eruptions of shield volcanoes are characterized by low - explosivity lava - fountaining that forms cinder

cones and spatter cones at the vent.

The internal structure of a typical shield volcano

Shield Volcanoes
≈ Mauna Loa Volcano, Hawaii, a giant among the active volcanoes of the world; snow-capped Mauna Kea Volcano in the distance.

How a Volcano Erupts

Volcanic Eruption
≈ An eruption begins when pressure on a magma chamber

forces magma up through the conduit and out the volcano's vents. When the magma chamber has been completely filled, the type of eruption partly depends on the amount of gases and silica in the magma. The amount of silica determines how sticky (level of viscosity) the magma is and water provides the explosive potential of steam.

Volcanic Eruption
≈ 1. low water, low silica - runny lava flows (not viscous) ≈ 2. low water, high silica (very viscous) - pasty lava - often building domes

≈ 3. high water, low silica (not viscous) - fountain of runny lava
≈ 4. high water, high silica (very viscous) - explosion






Volcanic Activity
≈ Scientists usually consider a volcano to be active if it is currently erupting or showing signs of unrest, such as unusual earthquake activity or significant new gas emissions. Many scientists also consider a volcano active if it has erupted in historic time. It is important to note that the span of recorded history differs from region to region. ≈ Extinct volcanoes are those that scientists consider unlikely to erupt again, because the volcano no longer has a lava supply.

Volcanic Terms

Volcanic Ash
≈ Volcanic ash consists of rock, mineral, and volcanic

glass fragments smaller than 2 mm (0.1 inch) in
diameter, which is slightly larger than the size of a pinhead. Volcanic ash is not the same as the soft fluffy

ash that results from burning wood, leaves, or paper. It is
hard, does not dissolve in water, and can be extremely small

≈ A caldera is a large, usually circular depression at the summit of a

volcano formed when magma is withdrawn or erupted from a
shallow underground magma reservoir.

≈ Lahar is an Indonesian word for a rapidly flowing mixture

of rock debris and water that originates on the slopes of a volcano. Lahars are also referred to as volcanic mudflows or debris flows.

≈ Lava is molten rock expelled by a volcano during an eruption.

≈ Lava is the word for magma (molten rock) when it erupts onto the Earth's surface. Geologists also use the word to describe the solidified deposits of lava flows and fragments hurled into the air by explosive eruptions (for example, lava bombs or blocks)

≈ Magma is molten or partially molten rock beneath the Earth's

surface. When magma erupts onto the surface, it is called lava.
Magma typically consists of (1) a liquid portion (often referred to as the melt); (2) a solid portion made of minerals that crystallized directly from the melt; (3) solid rocks incorporated into the magma from along the conduit or reservoir, called xenoliths or inclusions; and (4) dissolved gases.

Pyroclastic Flow
≈ A pyroclastic flow is a ground-hugging avalanche of hot ash,

pumice, rock fragments, and volcanic gas that rushes down the side
of a volcano as fast as 100 km/hour or more. The temperature within a pyroclastic flow may be greater than 500° C, sufficient to burn and carbonize wood. Once deposited, the ash, pumice, and rock fragments may deform (flatten) and weld together because of the intense heat and the weight of the overlying material.

Pyroclastic Flow

Pyroclastic flows descend the south-eastern flank of Mayon Volcano, Philippines. Maximum height of the eruption column was 15 km above sea level, and volcanic ash fell within about 50 km toward the west. There were no casualties from the 1984 eruption because more than 73,000 people evacuated the danger zones as recommended by scientists of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

Rift Zone
≈ A rift zone is an elongate system of crustal fractures

associated with an area that has undergone extension (ground has spread apart).

≈ Tephra is a general term for fragments of volcanic rock

and lava regardless of size that are blasted into the air by explosions or carried upward by hot gases in eruption columns or lava fountains. Tephra includes large dense blocks and bombs, and small light rock debris such as scoria, pumice, reticulite, and ash.

≈ Vents are openings in the Earth's crust from which

molten rock and volcanic gases escape onto the ground or into the atmosphere. Vents may consist of a single circular-shaped structure, a large elongate fissure and fracture, or a tiny ground crack.


≈ Earthquake, shaking of the Earth’s surface caused by rapid movement of the Earth’s rocky outer layer. Earthquakes occur when energy stored within the Earth, usually in the form of strain in rocks, suddenly releases. This energy is transmitted to the surface of the Earth by earthquake waves. ≈ Earthquake is also known as tremor or tremble.

≈ A shaking or trembling of the crust of the earth, caused by underground volcanic forces or by breaking and shifting of rock beneath the surface. ≈ A series of vibrations induced in the earth's crust by the abrupt rupture and rebound of rocks in which elastic strain has been slowly accumulating.

Anatomy of an Earthquake

Parts of Earthquake

Focus and Epicenter
≈ The point within the Earth along the rupturing geological fault where an earthquake originates is called the focus, or hypocenter. The point on the

Earth’s surface directly above the focus is called the epicenter. Earthquake
waves begin to radiate out from the focus and subsequently form along the fault rupture. If the focus is near the surface—between 0 and 70 km (0 and 40 mi) deep—shallow-focus earthquakes are produced. If it is intermediate

or deep below the crust—between 70 and 700 km (40 and 400 mi) deep—a
deep-focus earthquake will be produced. Shallow-focus earthquakes tend to be larger, and therefore more damaging, earthquakes. This is because they are closer to the surface where the rocks are stronger and build up more


Focus and Epicenter
≈ Seismologists know from observations that most earthquakes originate as shallowfocus earthquakes and most of them occur near plate boundaries—areas where the Earth’s crustal plates move against each other. Other earthquakes, including deep-focus earthquakes, can originate in subduction zones, where one tectonic plate sub ducts, or moves under another plate.

≈ In geology a fault, or fault line, is a planar fracture in

rock in which the rock on one side of the fracture has moved with respect to the rock on the other side.
≈ A fault is a break in the rocks that make up the Earth’s

crust, along which rocks on either side have moved past each other.

Types of Faults

Normal Fault
≈ The normal fault is not necessarily normal in the sense

that it is common because it is not the most common of faults. However what is normal about them is that their movement tends to follow the gravitational pull on the fault blocks involved. The fault plane on the normal fault is generally very steep.

Normal Fault
≈ In a normal fault the two involved blocks are (by gravity) pulling away from one another causing one of the fault blocks to slip upward and the other downward with respect to the fault plane (it is hard to determine whether both or just one block has moved.). The exposed upward block forms a cliff-like feature known as a fault scarp. A scarp may range from a few to hundreds of meters in height and their length may continue for 300 or more kilometers (around 200 miles).

Normal Fault

Fault-line scarp of normal fault in Andes. Gneissic mylonites sample from this exposure. Represents exposure of a type of core complex (photo by Glenn Wallace).

Normal Fault

A normal fault in Cretaceous strata west of Pueblo, Colorado. Note that the overlying Quaternary gravels are not cut by the fault.

Reverse Fault
≈ The reverse fault is a normal fault except the general

movement of the fault blocks is toward
each other, not away from each other as in the normal fault. This forms a thrust fault type expression on the surface with

material overlaying other material.

Reverse Fault

This is a small reverse fault in a road cut in Japan Reverse fault (left of center) in marble, Brazil.

Thrust Fault
≈ A thrust fault is a type of fault, or break in the Earth's crust with

resulting movement of each side against the other, in which a lower
stratigraphic position is pushed up and over another. This is the result of compressional forces.

Thrust Fault

A thrust fault with associated drag fold, Gaspe Peninsula, Canada.

Strike – slip Fault
≈ Strike-slip faults, also known as Transcurrent Fault occur along transform plate boundaries and involve horizontal movement of the fault blocks parallel to the strike of the fault. ≈ This shearing horizontal movement can create distinct landforms such as linear valleys, lake chains, and sag ponds. Both topographic (such as mountains, valleys, and streams) and man-made (such as roads or fences) linear features can be offset to the right or left. So, along a right-lateral strike-slip fault, the rocks (and everything else) on the opposite side of the fault appear to have moved to the right:

Strike – slip Fault
≈ The fault surface is usually near

vertical and the footwall moves either left or right or laterally with very little vertical motion. Strike-slip faults with left-lateral motion are also known as sinistral faults. Those with right-lateral motion are also known as dextral faults. A special class of strike-slip faults is the transform faults which are a plate tectonics feature related to spreading centers such as midocean ridges.

Strike – slip Fault

One of the United States's most famous, the San Andreas Fault, a right-lateral strike-slip fault; it caused the massive 1906 San Francisco Earthquake.

Types of Earthquake Waves

P wave
≈ Earthquake shaking and damage is the result of three basic types of

elastic waves. The faster of these body waves is called the primary
or P wave. Its motion is the same as that of a sound wave in that, as it spreads out, it alternately pushes (compresses) and pulls (dilates) the rock. These P waves are able to travel through both solid rock, such as granite mountains, and liquid material, such as volcanic magma or the water of the oceans.

P wave

S wave
≈ The slower wave through the body of rock is called the

secondary or S wave. As an S wave propagates, it shears the
rock sideways at right angles to the direction of travel. If a liquid is sheared sideways or twisted, it will not spring back,

hence S waves cannot propagate in the liquid parts of the
earth, such as oceans and lakes.

S wave

P and S wave
≈ The actual speed of P and S seismic waves depends on the density

and elastic properties of the rocks and soil through which they pass.
In most earthquakes, the P waves are felt first. The effect is similar to a sonic boom that bumps and rattles windows. Some seconds later, the S waves arrive with their up-and-down and side-to-side motion, shaking the ground surface vertically and horizontally. This is the wave motion that is so damaging to structures.

Surface Wave
≈ The third general type of earthquake wave is called a surface wave, reason being is that its motion is restricted to near the ground surface. Such waves correspond to ripples of water that travel across a lake. ≈ Two types of Surface Wave:
≈ Love Wave ≈ Rayleigh Wave

Love Wave
≈ The first is called a Love wave. Its motion is essentially that of S waves that have no vertical displacement; it moves the ground from side to side in a horizontal plane but at right angles to the direction of propagation. The horizontal shaking of Love waves is particularly damaging to the foundations of structures.

Rayleigh Wave
≈ The second type of surface wave is known as a Rayleigh wave. Like

rolling ocean waves, Rayleigh waves wave move both vertically and
horizontally in a vertical plane pointed in the direction in which the waves are traveling.

Surface wave
≈ Surface waves travel more slowly than body waves (P and S); and

of the two surface waves, Love waves generally travel faster than
Rayleigh waves. Love waves (do not propagate through water) can effect surface water only insofar as the sides of lakes and ocean

bays pushing water sideways like the sides of a vibrating tank,
whereas Rayleigh waves, because of their vertical component of their motion can affect the bodies of water such as lakes.

Earthquake Measurement

Richter Scale
≈ The magnitude of most

earthquakes is measured on the Richter scale, invented by Charles F. Richter in 1934. The Richter magnitude is calculated from the amplitude of the largest seismic wave recorded for the earthquake, no matter what type of wave was the strongest.

Richter Scale
≈ The Richter magnitudes are based on a logarithmic scale (base 10).

What this means is that for each whole number you go up on the Richter scale, the amplitude of the ground motion recorded by a
seismograph goes up ten times. Using this scale, a magnitude 5 earthquake would result in ten times the level of ground shaking as a

magnitude 4 earthquake (and 32 times as much energy would be released).
≈ The Richter magnitude scale can be used to describe earthquakes so small that they are expressed in negative numbers. The scale also has

no upper limit, so it can describe earthquakes of unimaginable and (so far) unexperienced intensity, such as magnitude 10.0 and beyond.

Richter Magnitudes

Descri ption

Earthquake Effects

Frequency of Occurrence

Less than 2.0 2.0-2.9


Micro earthquakes, not felt. Generally not felt, but recorded.

About 8,000 per day

Minor 3.0-3.9 4.0-4.9 Light Modera te Strong Major Often felt, but rarely causes damage. Noticeable shaking of indoor items, rattling noises. Significant damage unlikely. Can cause major damage to poorly constructed buildings over small regions. At most slight damage to well-designed buildings. Can be destructive in areas up to about 160 kilometres (100 mi) across in populated areas. Can cause serious damage over larger areas. Can cause serious damage in areas several hundred miles across. Devastating in areas several thousand miles across. Never recorded; see below for equivalent seismic energy yield.

About 1,000 per day
49,000 per year (est.) 6,200 per year (est.)

6.0-6.9 7.0-7.9 8.0-8.9

800 per year
120 per year 18 per year 1 per year 1 per 20 years Extremely rare (Unknown)

9.0-9.9 10.0+ Epic

(Based on U.S. Geological Survey documents.)

The Mercalli Scale
≈ Another way to measure the strength of an earthquake is to use the Mercalli scale. Invented by Giuseppe Mercalli in 1902, this scale uses the observations of the people who experienced the earthquake to estimate its intensity.
≈ The Mercalli scale isn't considered as scientific as the Richter scale, though. Some witnesses of the earthquake might exaggerate just how bad things were during the earthquake and you may not find two witnesses who agree on what happened; everybody will say something different. The amount of damage caused by the earthquake may not accurately record how strong it was either.

Effects of Earthquakes

≈ Shaking and ground rupture ≈ Shaking and ground rupture are the main effects created by earthquakes, principally resulting in more or less severe damage to buildings or other rigid structures. The severity of the local effects depends on the complex combination of the earthquake magnitude, the distance from epicenter, and the local geological and geomorphological conditions, which may amplify or reduce wave propagation. The groundshaking is measured by ground acceleration.

≈ Landslides and avalanches
≈ Landslides are a major geologic hazard because they can happen at any place in the world, much like earthquakes. Severe storms, earthquakes, volcanic activity, coastal wave attack, and wildfires can all produce slope instability. Landslide danger may be possible even though emergency personnel are attempting rescue

≈ Fires ≈ Following an earthquake, fires can be generated by break of the electrical power or gas lines. In the event of water mains rupturing and a loss of pressure, it may also become difficult to stop the spread of a fire once it has started. ≈ Soil liquefaction ≈ Soil liquefaction occurs when, because of the shaking, water-saturated granular material (such as sand) temporarily loses its strength and transforms from a solid to a liquid. Soil liquefaction may cause rigid structures, as buildings or bridges, to tilt or sink into the liquefied deposits. This can be a devastating effect of earthquakes.

≈ Tsunami

≈ Tsunamis are long-wavelength, long-period sea waves produced by an sudden or abrupt movement of large volumes of water. In the open ocean, the distance between wave crests can surpass 100 kilometers, and the wave periods can vary from five minutes to one hour. Such tsunamis travel 600-800 kilometers per hour, depending on water depth. Large waves produced by an earthquake or a submarine landslide can overrun nearby coastal areas in a matter of minutes. Tsunamis can also travel thousands of kilometers across open ocean and wreak destruction on far shores hours after the earthquake that generated them.
≈ Ordinarily, subduction earthquakes under magnitude 7.5 on the Richter scale do not cause tsunamis. However, there have been recorded instances, yet most destructive tsunamis are caused by magnitude 7.5 plus earthquakes. ≈ Tsunamis are distinct from tidal waves, because in a tsunami, water flows straight instead of in a circle like the typical wave. Earthquaketriggered landslides into the sea can also cause tsunamis.

≈ Floods ≈ A flood is an overflow of any amount of water that reaches land. Floods usually occur because of the volume of water within a body of water, such as a river or lake, exceeds the total capacity of the formation, and as a result some of the water flows or sits outside of the normal perimeter of the body. However, floods may be secondary effects of earthquakes, if dams are damaged. Earthquakes may cause landslips to dam rivers, which then collapse and cause floods. ≈ Human impacts ≈ Earthquakes may result in disease, lack of basic necessities, loss of life, higher insurance premiums, general property damage, road and bridge damage, and collapse of buildings or destabilization of the base of buildings which may lead to collapse in future earthquakes. Earthquakes can also lead to volcanic eruptions, which cause further damages such as substantial crop damage, like in the "Year Without a Summer" (1816). ≈ Most of civilization agrees that human death is the most significant human impact of earthquakes.

Earthquake Terms

Aftershock and Foreshock
≈ Aftershocks occur in the same general region as the main shock and are believed to be the result of minor readjustments of stress at places in the fault zone. ≈ A foreshock is a small tremor that commonly precedes a larger earthquake or main shock by seconds to weeks and that originates in or near the rupture zone of the larger earthquake.

≈ A measure of severity of shaking at a particular site. It is usually estimated from descriptions of damage to buildings and terrain. The intensity

is often greatest near the earthquake epicenter.

≈ A numerical expression of the amount of energy released by an

earthquake, determined by measuring earthquake waves on
standardized recording instruments (seismographs). The number scale for magnitudes is logarithmic rather than arithmetic; therefore, deflections on a seismograph for a magnitude 5 earthquake, for example, are 10 times greater than those for a magnitude 4 earthquake, 100 times greater than for a magnitude 3 earthquake, and so on.

≈ Seismicity:

≈ Earthquake activity. (USGS National Earthquake Information Center, 1999)
≈ Seismic waves: ≈ A vibrational disturbance in the Earth that travels at speeds of several kilometers per second. There are three main types of seismic waves in the earth: P (fastest), S (slower), and Surface waves (slowest). Seismic waves are produced by earthquakes. (Noson, et.al., 1988) ≈ Seismic waves are the vibrations from earthquakes that travel through the Earth; they are recorded on instruments called seismographs. (USGS National Earthquake Information Center, 1998) ≈ Seismogram: ≈ A graph showing the motion of the ground versus time. (Noson, et.al., 1988) ≈ A written record of an earthquake, recorded by a seismograph. (USGS National Earthquake Information Center, 1999)

≈ Seismograph:

≈ A sensitive instrument that can detect, amplify, and record ground vibrations too small to be perceived by human beings. (Noson, et.al., 1988)
≈ An instrument that records the motions of the Earth, especially earthquakes. (USGS National Earthquake Information Center, 1999) ≈ A scientific instrument that detects and records vibrations (seismic waves) produced by earthquakes. (Teacher's Packet) ≈ Seismograph station: ≈ A site at which one or more seismographs are set up and routinely monitored. (USGS National Earthquake Information Center, 1999) ≈ Seismologist: ≈ A scientist who studies earthquakes. (USGS National Earthquake Information Center, 1999) ≈ Seismometry: ≈ The instrumental aspects of seismology. (USGS National Earthquake Information Center, 1999)


Project References
http://encarta.msn.com http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/Glossary/Seismicity/earthquake_terminology.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ http://www.geo.mtu.edu/UPSeis/intensity.html http://www.google.com.ph USGS National Earthquake Information Center, 1999


Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful