Q:

Who studies earthquakes?

A:

A person who studies earthquakes is known as a seismologist. In addition to studying earthquakes, a seismologist also studies different vibrations in the Earth. These specialists use sophisticated tools, such as seismographs, to measure the intensity of vibrations. They also use specialized computers to create graphical models of earthquakes.

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Seismologists work in various environments. There are seismologists who work as professors, and there are those who perform research in the field. When performing research, a seismologist gathers data to develop a hypothesis about why, where and when an earthquake may start. Seismologists use statistical analysis and data to identify potential earthquakes. They also generate answers that help make predictions about future earthquakes.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where do earthquakes form?

    A:

    According to the U.S. Geological Society, the area in the Earth's crust where an earthquake forms is called the hypocenter. Unpredictable in nature, earthquakes form when energy from the crust is released, causing vibrations on the surface of the earth. The magnitude of earthquakes can vary exponentially, and the stronger the magnitude, the more devastating the effects, especially on areas that are near the epicenter.

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  • Q:

    When do earthquakes occur?

    A:

    Earthquakes are usually triggered when rock located beneath the ground, on top of fault lines, breaks and suddenly releases a significant amount of energy. The immediate and rapid release of energy caused by earthquakes generates seismic waves, which cause shaking motions that start below the Earth’s surface and spread across large distances.

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  • Q:

    What state has the most earthquakes?

    A:

    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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  • 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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