What is an earthquake?

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Dec 16, 2017

Answer:

The release of tension built up in Earth's crust.

Explanation:

An earthquake occurs when energy is suddenly released in the earth's lithosphere: the surface of the earth shakes because of this energy. When this energy is released, it creates seismic waves.

https://www.factmonster.com/dk/encyclopedia/earth/earthquakes

Earthquakes can occur anywhere within Earth's crust, but most commonly occur along active plate boundaries. Earthquakes that occur intraplate (within plates) are usually caused by the reactivation of very old fault systems. Earthquakes can even be caused by human activities such as nuclear testing.

Diagram of intraplate earthquake occurrence:
https://www.e-education.psu.edu/earth520/node/1792

Diagram of plate boundary earthquake occurrence:
http://montessorimuddle.org/2011/03/11/plate-tectonics-and-the-earthquake-in-japan/

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Nov 15, 2015

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Tension between two tectonic plates releasing.

Explanation:

When two or more tectonic plates meet, the will eventually create pressure between them.
As tectonic plates are constantly moving, this pressure must be released.

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Jan 9, 2018

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Earthquakes are releases of energy underground that cause the earth to move.

Explanation:

Earthquakes are often believed to be dangerous events in which cities are leveled, however this is not (always) the case, they're in fact very common, and you will most likely have experienced one in a week (unless if your not on the ground/sea) and you didn't even feel it.

Earthquakes are most often caused by the tectonic plates getting caught on one another when drifting and then release energy ranging from tiny unfeelable shudders, to explosive, ground liquefying waves which shatter almost any structure.
These smaller shudders are (obviously) more common than these greater powered waves, due to the plates and fault lines always moving on the earth, always causing friction against one another.

Earthquakes can vary as well in different parts of the world, the closer you are to a plate boundary, the greater the power of the earthquake you could experience, and the more often are the ones you will feel.
Further more, depending on the plate boundary effects the sort of earthquake you may encounter, such as at a destructive plate boundary (where a plate, normally oceanic, is subducted under another plate, usually continental) where powerful earthquakes occur due to the explosive nature of another plate being melted underneath another and the grating of one underneath another, leads to strong earthquakes there.

Hope the extra information helps, and here is a link also if you want some detail on plate boundaries; http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks3/geography/physical_processes/plate_tectonics/revision/3/

-Charlie

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Dec 7, 2015

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Evidence that our home planet is alive.

Explanation:

Contrary to popular belief, Earth is alive, well and expected to last at least five more billion years.
Other orbiting bodies are dead. The Moon is. Pluto most probably is. But the Earth is doing fine and we know this because it breaths, it shakes, it rises. We can even take its temperature and check its health by boring deep holes into its crust.

Earthquakes, as well as volcanic eruptions, Isostasy, thermal sources, geysers, fumaroles, tellu-ric currents... are the visible (and measurable) evidence of such good condition and testify that something, deep inside our planet, is energetic and moving.
In fact, our planet is a boiling pot of molten lava on top of which sits the Earth's crust as a lid.

Because the pot keeps boiling, hissing and blowing, the rigid crust brakes and the several piec-es (on top of some of which sit our continents) move, swirl and bump or crash into each other.
When this happens, the consequences are dire. People in proximity of the event are killed; cit-ies are flattened or washed out by tsunamis.

However, astonishing, marvellous things happen too.
Mountains rise from the flattest of plains; trenches open in the middle of oceans, novel lives stream in to colonise them and new islands rise from the sea floor.

Just as from any living creature, you can expect a moody character of the Earth. Earthquakes are not bad. They the other side of a coin that would have no value without them.

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