Informative Essay On Earthquakes

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Informative Essay on Earthquakes An earthquake, also known as a quake, tremor or temblor, is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. Earthquakes are measured using observations from seismometers. The largest earthquakes in historic times have been of magnitude slightly over 9, although there is no limit to the possible magnitude. Intensity of shaking is measured on the modified Mercalli scale. The shallower an earthquake, the more damage to structures it causes, all else being equal. At the Earth's surface, earthquakes manifest themselves by shaking and sometimes displacement of the ground. “When the epicenter of a large earthquake is located offshore, the seabed may be displaced sufficiently…show more content…
A large problem that comes with earthquakes is landslides. A landslide is a geological phenomenon which includes a wide range of ground movement, such as rockfalls, deep failure of slopes and shallow debris flows. A landslide can occur in offshore, coastal and onshore environments. Along with landslides, earthquakes can cause fires by damaging electrical power or gas lines. In the event of water mains rupturing and a loss of pressure, it may also become difficult to stop the spread of a fire once it has started. For example, “more deaths in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake were caused by fire than by the earthquake itself” (Dimley, 2000 p. 29). Another problem with earthquakes is soil liquefaction. Soil liquefaction occurs because of the shaking from an earthquake. Water-saturated granular material (such as sand) temporarily loses its strength and transforms from a solid to a liquid. Soil liquefaction may cause rigid structures, like buildings and bridges, to tilt or sink into the liquefied deposits. This can be a devastating effect of earthquakes. For example, “in the 1964 Alaska earthquake, soil liquefaction caused many buildings to sink into the ground, eventually collapsing upon themselves” (Dimley, 2000 p. 31). Tsunamis can also be created as an effect of an earthquake. Tsunamis are long-wavelength, long-period sea waves produced by the…show more content…
Without faults on the earth, earthquakes would almost never occur. The different types of faults are important to understanding how an earthquake is created and the damage it can cause. Faults however, would not be traceable without the technology used to record and measure earthquakes. With the different scales and tools to analyze earthquakes, not only can an earthquake be studied, but its effects can be too. And lastly, the effects of an earthquake are the prime mover in the world’s continued research on earthquakes. The damage and effects of an earthquake can be very devastating as anything can happen from the hundreds of earthquakes occurring every day. References Brune, D. Fractures and ruptures within the earth. 27 September 2005. Retrieved November 6, 2012 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1598774 Dimley, J. April 2000. Yearly geological survey review: soil liquefaction and the beginnings of ruptures. Journal of Earth and Geophysics Analysis: 228-240. Earthquakes and faults. United States Geological Survey Crustal Outreach. USGS. August 22, 2012. Retrieved November 6, 2012 from http://www.crustal.usgs.info/outreach/faq.php Harrison, B. Foreshocks and aftershocks of an earthquake and the effects on society. 12 November 2010. Retrieved November 5, 2012 from http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/glossary/?term=aftershocks Jensen, B. Geophysics of an epicenter. 9 June 2003. Retrieved November
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