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What are the different types of earthquakes?

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Quick Answer

The three main types of earthquakes are transform, convergent and divergent. Transform fault earthquakes are sometimes called strike-slip earthquakes because they occur when tectonic plates slide against one another. Convergent earthquakes occur when land masses are thrust toward each other, while divergent earthquakes occur when plates are moving apart.

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Full Answer

The cause or source zone is sometimes used as a way to categorize earthquakes. When earthquakes are categorized by cause, types include tectonic earthquakes, volcanic earthquakes and explosive earthquakes. Explosive earthquakes are often man-made, and the two terms may be used interchangeably. When source zone is used to categorize earthquakes, the primary earthquake types are shallow-fault, deep zone and crustal earthquakes.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do earthquakes happen?

    A:

    Earthquakes happen when rock beneath the earth suddenly moves. Stresses in the earth make blocks of rock break and move along a fault line, which is a crack in the earth. The rocks may move, slip downward, upward or sideways. Many earthquakes take place on the edge of the seas. As of 2014, earthquakes can't be prevented but can be somewhat predicted.

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  • Q:

    Can we predict earthquakes?

    A:

    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.

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  • Q:

    What causes earthquakes?

    A:

    The surface of the earth is called the crust, and it is made up of plates, called tectonic plates, that move. Earthquakes happen when these plates bump, scrape or drag against each other.

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  • Q:

    How do earthquakes occur?

    A:

    Earthquakes occur when two blocks of earth suddenly slip past each other. This sudden release of energy causes the seismic waves that make the ground shake. The surface where they slip is known as the fault or fault plane.

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