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Earthquakes are caused by an abrupt shift of rock along a fracture in the Earth.
Most earthquakes are caused by slow movements inside the Earth that push against the Earth's brittle, relatively thin outer layer, causing the rocks to break suddenly.

Why Do Earthquakes Happen?

www.geo.mtu.edu/UPSeis/why.html

Earthquakes are usually caused when rock underground suddenly breaks along a fault. This sudden release ... That's just what happens along a strike-slip fault.

Where Do Earthquakes Happen? - Michigan Technological University

www.geo.mtu.edu/UPSeis/where.html

Most earthquakes occur along the edge of the oceanic and continental plates. The earth's crust (the outer layer of the planet) is made up of several pieces, called ...

The Science of Earthquakes - USGS Earthquake Hazards Program

earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/kids/eqscience.php

Apr 7, 2016 ... An earthquake is what happens when two blocks of the earth suddenly slip past one ... What causes earthquakes and where do they happen?

Where do earthquakes occur? - U.S. Geological Survey

www2.usgs.gov/faq/categories/9831/3342

Earthquakes can strike any location at any time. But history shows they occur in the same general patterns year after year, principally in three large zones of the ...

Do earthquakes occur in Antarctica? - U.S. Geological Survey

www2.usgs.gov/faq/categories/9827/3370

Earthquakes do occur occasionally in Antarctica, but not very often. There have been some big earthquakes--including one magnitude 8--in the Balleny Islands.

At what depth do earthquakes occur? - U.S. Geological Survey

www2.usgs.gov/faq/categories/9827/3344

Earthquakes occur in the crust or upper mantle, which ranges from the earth's surface to about 800 kilometers deep (about 500 miles). The strength of shaking  ...

Why Do Earthquakes Happen? - IRIS

www.iris.edu/hq/inclass/downloads/download/9

In many ways, earthquakes are one of nature's reminders that we are living on the thin outer crust of a planet whose interior is still cooling. Earthquakes happen  ...

Why Earthquakes Occur | FEMA.gov

www.fema.gov/why-earthquakes-occur

Dec 23, 2015 ... An earthquake is ground shaking caused by a sudden movement of rock in the earth's crust. ... What are earthquakes and why do they occur?

Why do earthquakes happen?| Explore | physics.org

www.physics.org/article-questions.asp?id=50

Just like a giant, spherical puzzle, the outer layer of the Earth's crust is made up of many pieces, known as tectonic plates (see picture below). Earthquakes ...