Q:

How do you define "earthquake"?

A:

An earthquake is defined as a series of vibrations within the earth's crust that are caused by the rupture of its rocks. This rupture is due to the gradual accumulation of elastic strain within the crust.

There are several causes for earthquakes, including sudden events such as volcanic eruptions. The most powerful earthquakes are caused by dislocations in the crust. Earthquakes often occur around faults, which are slippages between blocks on the earth's crust. Even after an earthquake has occurred along a fault line, another may occur if some stress remains in the crust.

There are several key points to an earthquake. The focal depth refers to the depth beneath the surface of the earthquake's energy origination. This point of origination is called the focus. The point on the earth's surface located directly above the focus is the earthquake's epicenter.

In addition to the immediate damage, secondary damage may be caused by the natural disasters spawned as a result of the earthquake. These disasters include landslides and tsunamis, which are often more destructive than the earthquake itself.

Earthquakes are typically measured using the Richter scale, which rates them from one to 10. This scale is logarithmic; each whole number indicates a tenfold increase.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do you know if there was just an earthquake?

    A:

    The United States Geological Survey keeps a record of all earthquakes around the globe. In addition to providing seismic data from survey sites, the USGS also offers an application that allows users to report earthquake tremors they have felt. The USGS records all geological activity, not just earthquakes.

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  • Q:

    How do you prepare for an earthquake?

    A:

    To prepare for an earthquake, prepare your house by placing objects to minimize falling damage. Draft an emergency plan, and practice earthquake drills. During an earthquake, drop to your hands and knees, cover your head and neck, and hold on.

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  • Q:

    When was the first earthquake?

    A:

    The first earthquake to ever take place is unknown as it happened before the records of the events were kept. The first recorded earthquake was in 1769.

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  • Q:

    What is the difference between earthquake and aftershock?

    A:

    According to the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), the difference between an earthquake, also known as the mainshock, and an aftershock is that an aftershock follows closely in the wake of a larger earthquake and in approximately the same area as that earthquake. Earthquakes are usually more powerful and longer lasting than aftershocks. An aftershock will not occur unless there is a mainshock that occurs first.

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