Alexander Besant of the Global Post explains that the 2012 Sumatra earthquake resulted from up to five faults in the tectonic plates under the ocean floor. Besant makes reference to a study explaining that the faults acted in concert and slid sideways to create a series of massive ruptures, resulting in the 8.6 magnitude earthquake. He also notes that researchers believe this may signal the splitting of the Indo-Australian plate.
Helen Shen of the international science journal Nature notes that a 2004 quake along with a 2005 quake in the same area may have also acted as a trigger to the 2012 large-scale event by adding to pent-up stresses in the plate’s middle region. The California Institute of Technology gives further insight to the 2004 quake by stating that the earthquake ruptured the greatest fault length of any recorded earthquake, a distance of more than 900 miles, which measures longer than the state of California. The institute also explains that the rupture did not tear apart the land all at once but rather progressed northward from the epicenter along the fault for about 10 minutes. Furthermore, the two tectonic plates that lie at the rupture suddenly broke free, causing the upper plate to slide back upward and to the west along the plate boundary.Learn More
Like most earthquakes, the 1556 Shaanxi earthquake occurred due to the sudden shifting of tectonic plates against each other. Tectonic plates are large chunks of the earth’s crust, and the cracks between these chunks are known as faults. East Qinling’s northern Piedmont fault is the likely origin of the Shaanxi disaster.Full Answer >
The 2004 Indonesian earthquake was caused by the earth's Indian plate moving underneath the Burma plate, causing a massive release of seismic stress and resulting in faults. This led to earthquakes and tsunamis in 14 Asian countries. It is also known as the Indian Ocean earthquake or the Sumatra earthquake.Full Answer >
According to Smithsonian magazine, the Great Kanto earthquake was caused by a seismic fault line six miles below the floor of Sagumi Bay. Close to noon on September 1, 1923, a 60 square mile portion of the Philippine oceanic plate ruptured and smashed into the Eurasian continental plate. This event produced a burst of tectonic energy that traumatized Japan.Full Answer >
The 2005 Kashmir earthquake was caused by a sudden influx of seismic stress at the highly active earthquake hot spot between the Earth's Indian plate and Eurasian plate near the Himalayan mountains. The seismic stress occurred from repetitive collisions between the two plates, which caused a fault zone to appear.Full Answer >