"Seismic activity" is defined as the vibration of the ground due to the release of elastic energy from the breakage of rock within the earth or an explosion. The phenomenon is commonly referred to as an earthquake, but while seismic waves can be either body waves or surface waves, an earthquake radiates seismic energy as both types of waves.Know More
Most seismic activity is caused by the movement of tectonic plates. As these plates shift, rocks around the boundaries of the plates are deformed, which then causes elastic energy to be stored. When pressure leads to a fault segment slipping, the results can be extraordinary. Seismic activity has many other causes as well, including crustal loading, volcanic or hydrothermal activity, and the re-activation of very old faults.
Humans may also cause seismic activity through fluid injection, reservoir filling or demolitions. To record seismic wave motion, scientists measure seismic activity with a seismograph, which is a very sensitive instrument that very accurately reads the magnitude and location of the seismic activity being picked up.
While it may be very destructive, seismic activity is also responsible for many treasured landscapes and topographic locations that people enjoy for their beauty and unique features. Many national parks, for example, are in areas where large earthquakes or other plate tectonic activity occurred in the past.Learn more about Earthquakes
The three types of seismic waves are primary waves, secondary waves and surface waves. Seismic waves can cause earthquakes and have destructive capability. Primary and secondary waves are known as body waves, and these waves penetrate the interior of the Earth, whereas surface waves do not penetrate the Earth.Full Answer >
Seismic testing utilizes sound waves and sensors to create a three-dimensional map of an underground area to determine what kinds of mineral resources are available. Vibrations are created using special trucks or detonated explosives. Sensors receive the vibrations and take measurements. This data is fed into complex computer programs that create maps of the area, and geologists interpret the maps to discover what minerals lie beneath the surface.Full Answer >
A seismometer measures movements in the ground during an earthquake and creates electric signals that can be read to determine an earthquake's magnitude. Seismometers are contained within a device called a seismograph that is attached to the ground.Full Answer >
An earthquake is a violent shaking of the ground that often causes destruction to life and property. An earthquake occurs when two parts of earth slip past one another, creating seismic waves. Some areas are especially prone to earthquakes due to prominent fault lines in those places.Full Answer >