Scientists can make predictions about earthquake probability, but there is no reliable way to foresee any given earthquake. Some people have claimed that they can predict earthquakes, but their claims do not withstand scientific scrutiny.Know More
In areas along large fault lines, where earthquakes occur more frequently, scientists can estimate the average length of time between major earthquakes. On the San Andreas fault, for example, there is usually a large-scale earthquake every 100 years. Many scientists subscribe to the theory that the next earthquake is likely to happen when the strain released by the previous earthquake is re-established.
Short-term earthquake prediction is much more difficult to accomplish. There are some precursors to warn the community, but it is difficult to observe them and to determine if the precursors actually cause earthquakes.Learn More
The surface directly above where an earthquake starts is called the epicenter, according to the United States Geological Survey. The location of the earthquake's origin is the fault or fault plane, and that is the place where two pieces of Earth move past each other, causing the ground to shake.Full Answer >
Earthquakes are caused by sudden movement in opposing tectonic plates in the earth. As plates move against each other, sometimes the rocky edges catch against one another. The rest of the plate remains in motion, putting stress on the sticking point, and when it gives way, an earthquake occurs.Full Answer >
The epicenter of an earthquake is the point on the surface of the Earth directly above the point in the crust where a seismic rupture occurs. This origin point within the crust is called the hypocenter or focus.Full Answer >
Earthquakes occur due to the movement of tectonic plates in the Earth's crust. Plates constantly shift and move, building energy. The release of that energy is an earthquake.Full Answer >