Different ways earthquakes happen when these sections

The map below locates earthquakes around the globe.

different ways earthquakes happen when these sections

The magnitude of an earthquake is conventionally reported using the Richter scale or a related Moment scale with magnitude 3 or lower earthquakes being hard to notice and magnitude 7 causing serious damage over large areas. No matter which side of the fault you are on, the other side is moving to the right.

These are two questions that do not yet have definite answers.

different ways earthquakes happen when these sections

On any particular fault, scientists know there will be another earthquake sometime in the future, but they have no way of telling when it will happen. Compressional boundaries host Earth's largest quakes, with some events on subduction zones in Alaska and Chile having exceeded magnitude 9.

The largest earthquake ever recorded was a magnitude 9.

different ways earthquakes happen when these sections

These are earthquakes that occur at a depth at which the subducted lithosphere should no longer be brittle, due to the high temperature and pressure. It is estimated that only 10 percent or less of an earthquake's total energy is radiated as seismic energy.

different ways earthquakes happen when these sections

Divergent boundaries can also generate earthquakes, but they usually aren't as powerful as those that happen on convergent boundaries. Many countries have hundreds or thousands of seismometers, allowing them to accurately predict the size and location of an earthquake using a process of triangulation.

In its most generic sense, the word earthquake is used to describe any seismic event—whether a natural phenomenon or an event caused by humans—that generates seismic waves.

The science of earthquakes explained

The oceanic ridges are the asthenospheric spreading centers, creating new oceanic crust. Each year, seismology bodies record tens of thousands of earthquakes, with some parts of the world at far greater risk of a damaging quake than others.

different ways earthquakes happen when these sections

The satellite image below shows the bent and rippled rock layers of the Zagros Mountains in southern Iran, where the Arabian plate is impacting the Iranian plate.

It's that movement at the plate boundaries that's responsible for most earthquakes. Plate boundaries converge, a process that can generate earthquakes.

The Science of Earthquakes

These miniscule movements mean plates are either colliding converging , moving away from diverging or sliding past transforming one another.

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