When you feel the Earth move beneath your feet……..
Wow! Did you feel that? Earthquakes are one of the most powerful events on earth, and they can be terrifying. A severe earthquake can release energy almost 10,000 times as great as the first atomic bomb explosion.(McNally) I will explain what an earthquake is, where they happen, why they happen, how we measure the severity, and what it means for our planet. Let’s talk about what they are.
Earthquakes are the underground movement of the earth’s plates creating a shaking and vibration along a fault plan from volcanic activity. Rock movements during an earthquake can make rivers change their direction of flow. Also, Earthquakes can trigger landslides and Volcanoes that cause great damage and loss of life. Larger earthquakes that occur beneath the ocean floor can create a series of huge, destructive waves that are called tsunamis. Why does the Earth behave in this manner?
Earthquakes usually occur along the edge of the continental and oceanic plates. The plates move around by the movement of a deeper part of the earth, which is called the mantle and this lies underneath the crust of the Earth. These plates are usually doing one of three motions; knocking into each other, pulling away from each other, or moving past each other. The plates usually move at a very slow speed. This rate of speed would be consistent with, the average growth, of a human fingernail. (Pendick) The next question is how do we measure the force?
When an earthquake occurs the magnitude is the measurement of the amount of energy released during the earthquake. The Richter scale is the term we use for measurement. The Richter scale was invented by Dr. Charles Richter, a seismologist at the California Institute of Technology. (USGS) It is a measure of the largest seismic wave recorded on a particular kind of seismograph located about sixty two miles from the epicenter of the earthquake. It is a very sensitive pendulum that records the...