Q:

Who studies earthquakes?

A:

Quick Answer

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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Full Answer

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:

    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:

    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 happen?

    A:

    Most earthquakes happen along the boundaries of the tectonic plates that make up the Earth's crust, though earthquakes can happen anywhere on the planet. Earthquakes are also common along faults, which are deep fissures under great pressure within a plate or along multiple plates.

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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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