What Causes a Earthquake?

Answer

An earthquake is described as a sudden movement or tremor of the crust of the earth which originates from under or on top of the surface. The two major causes of earthquakes are explosive volcanic eruptions and tectonic activities related to plate faults and margins.
Q&A Related to "What Causes a Earthquake"
The Movement of Techtonic Plates causes the earthquakes in Japan.
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_cause_for_ea...
In a very general sense all earthquakes have the same cause. They are caused by the release of stress in the earth's crust. the higher the stress the more potential for movement.
http://www.quora.com/What-are-the-different-types-...
Just like the case of other earthquakes, this one happened because of the collision of the tectonic plates under earth's crust which produced high seismic waves .
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Kobe, Japan is near 3 tectonic plates (great big slabs of the earths crust that move around due to the convection currents massive circuits of lava under the surface of the earth.
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_were_the_causes_of_...
2 Additional Answers
Ask.com Answer for: what causes a earthquake
Earthquakes are caused by an abrupt shift of rock along a fracture in the Earth.
Most earthquakes are caused by slow movements inside the Earth that push against the Earth's brittle, relatively thin outer layer, causing the rocks to break suddenly.
The movement of two of the Earth's plates, or layers, is what causes an earthquake. The two plates move and either run into each other or slide past each other. You can find more information here: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/kids/eqscience.php
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