Haiti 2010 Earthquake

824 Words4 Pages
Earthquakes are caused by the rift and abrupt movement of two rocks that suddenly slip past one another. Earthquakes occur along faults which are fractures in the lithosphere where sections of rock move past one another. There are three important parts to an earthquake: the focus, the epicenter, and seismic waves. The focus is the point on the fault where the separation occurs and from where the seismic waves are formed. The epicenter is located directly above the focus on the earth’s surface. After the fault splits, seismic waves which are produced of energy are released in all different directions. (United States Geological Survey USGS) Seen to the left are the epicenter, focus, and seismic waves. Smaller earthquakes that occur in the same location before the larger earthquake are called foreshocks. Unfortunately scientists aren’t able to tell if an earthquake is a foreshock until the larger earthquake occurs. The larger earthquake is called the main shock and constantly has aftershocks that follow it. Aftershocks are smaller earthquakes that occur in the same spot as the main shock. If the main earthquake is larger enough, the aftershocks can sometimes continue for weeks and months after the initial earthquake! (USGS) There are two types of faults called dip-slip faults and strike-slip faults. Dip-slip faults occur when vertical displacement takes place and strike-slip faults happens when there is horizontal displacement. (Chapter 3&4 Powerpoint) Haiti is located in the western part of the island of Hispaniola and is situated between Puerto Rico and Cuba as seen in the picture to the right. (USGS) On January 12th 2010 at 4:53 p.m., an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 occurred 16 miles west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital. The earthquake was said to be felt in areas of Aruba, Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos, Venezuela, Bahamas, US Virgin
Open Document