Earth Quakes Informations - Slip, Sliding Away
 

 

 
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Earth Quake Information - Slip, Sliding Away
 

Slip, Sliding Away

Earthquakes are caused by forces deep within the Earth's crust. As continents collide, ocean floors split, magma flows, volcanoes erupt and other natural processes occur pressure is released making vibrations within the ground which we call earthquakes. Where one block of the Earth's crust interacts with another they may slip, slide or push each other resulting in a fault. This movement in the Earth is called tectonics. The interior of Mars has very little movement and does not have quakes that have been measured.

A fault is a fracture in the Earth's crust where two blocks of crust have slipped against each other. In the diagram at right figure A is a Normal Fault where the blocks are pulled apart allowing for one block to slip down on the other. Figure B indicates a Thrust Fault which occurs when blocks are pushed against each other raising one of the blocks. A Strike-Slip Fault, figure C, occurs when stress causes the blocks to move horizontally past one another. (Diagram adapted from a USGS diagram.)

The severity of an earthquake is related to magnitude, that is, the seismic energy recorded on a seismograph and intensity meaning the observed effects that the ground shaking has on people, buildings, man-made structures and natural features. The epicenter of an earthquake is the spot on the surface directly above the area where the quake took place. The focus or hypocenter is the area inside the Earth where the event happened.

 
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