Q:

What state has the most earthquakes?

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Quick Answer

The U.S. Geological Survey reports that, as of 2014, Alaska accounts for about half of all earthquakes registered in the United States. The USGS also indicates that many smaller magnitude earthquakes go unreported in the state. California has the second-most reported earthquakes among U.S. states.

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Full Answer

Hawaii is the third-most prominent earthquake state and Nevada is fourth. However, the USGS site reports that these states are in a virtual dead heat on the number of quakes with a 5.0 or greater magnitude. Other states listed in the top 10 include Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Utah and Oregon. The rankings include any quakes reported in any region within a state.

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Related Questions

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    Why do earthquakes happen?

    A:

    Earthquakes are the result of two of the Earth's crustal plates slipping past each other, otherwise known as plate tectonics. The vibrations caused by this sudden movement reverberate through the surrounding rock structures, and they are felt as tremors. Earthquakes are most common among the geologically active regions at the borders between plates of the Earth's crust, also known as fault zones.

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  • Q:

    What causes earthquakes?

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    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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    How do we measure earthquakes?

    A:

    The strength of an earthquake is measured by its Moment Magnitude Scale, or MMS. The MMS measures the total energy, or seismic moment, of an earthquake. The seismic moment of an earthquake is measured based on three factors: the distance rocks slide, the area of the fault slide and the rigidness of the rocks that are broken.

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  • Q:

    Where do most earthquakes occur?

    A:

    Most earthquakes occur along the boundaries between the Earth's tectonic plates. The crust of the Earth is divided into plates. When a plate collides with or slides past another plate, this causes earthquakes. For example, as the Pacific plate moves past the North American plate, many earthquakes occur along the coast of California.

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