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Using satellite information to rebuild after a disaster

ESA and the Asian Development Bank have joined forces to help the Indonesian government use satellite information to guide the redevelopment following the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the provincial capital of Palu ...

Precursors of a catastrophic collapse

On the morning of the 13th of March 1888, the inhabitants of the Finschhafen trading post on the east coast of New Guinea were awakened by a dull rumbling sound. An eyewitness later reported that the water in the port had ...

3-D Earth in the making

A thorough understanding of the 'solid Earth' system is essential for deciphering the links between processes occurring deep inside Earth and those occurring nearer the surface that lead to seismic activity such as earthquakes ...

Strong 7.2 quake rocks Papua New Guinea

A powerful but deep 7.2-magnitude earthquake rocked Papua New Guinea on Tuesday, officials said, cutting power and knocking items off shelves though there were no immediate reports of serious damage.

Improved risk management for geothermal systems

Enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) are considered a promising source of energy that is clean, provides a sustainable baseload for heat and electricity, and is an emerging key technology in the long-term transition to a fossil ...

What does the future of Kilauea hold?

Ever since Hawaii's Kilauea stopped erupting in August 2018, ceasing activity for the first time in 35 years, scientists have been wondering about the volcano's future. Its similarities to the Hawaiian seamount Lo`ihi might ...

'Marsquake': first tremor detected on Red Planet

Scientists said Tuesday they might have detected the first known seismic tremor on Mars in a discovery that could shed light on the ancient origins of Earth's neighbour.

On the front lines in Kilauea

In the early spring, volcanologists monitoring the ground around Kilauea, the most active volcano on the island of Hawai'i, noticed a significant increase in seismicity, a sign of an impending eruption. Meanwhile, in Palisades, ...

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Earthquake

An earthquake (also known as a tremor or temblor) is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. Earthquakes are recorded with a seismometer, also known as a seismograph. The moment magnitude of an earthquake is conventionally reported, or the related and mostly obsolete Richter magnitude, with magnitude 3 or lower earthquakes being mostly imperceptible and magnitude 7 causing serious damage over large areas. Intensity of shaking is measured on the modified Mercalli scale.

At the Earth's surface, earthquakes manifest themselves by shaking and sometimes displacing the ground. When a large earthquake epicenter is located offshore, the seabed sometimes suffers sufficient displacement to cause a tsunami. The shaking in earthquakes can also trigger landslides and occasionally volcanic activity.

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. Earthquakes are caused mostly by rupture of geological faults, but also by volcanic activity, landslides, mine blasts, and nuclear experiments. An earthquake's point of initial rupture is called its focus or hypocenter. The term epicenter refers to the point at ground level directly above the hypocenter.

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