Difference between revisions of "Earthquake"

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#REDIRECT [[Earthquakes]]
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{{AGI}}
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Most earthquakes are caused by the sudden release of built-up stress along [[faults]], fractures in the Earth’s crust where large blocks of crustal rock move against one another. An earthquake’s size can be measured by the amount of energy released by that movement. While scientists can't predict earthquakes, they are developing earthquake early warning systems that can provide seconds to minutes of warning when an earthquake occurs.  Scientists can also estimate the likelihood of future quakes and use that information to design safer buildings and roads.
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== Why do earthquakes matter? ==
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Large earthquakes pose a substantial threat along the West Coast and portions of the central and eastern United States. A single event can be devastating: for example, the 1994 Northridge, CA, magnitude 6.7 earthquake caused at least $40 billion in direct damage and killed around sixty people.<ref>Historic Earthquakes, USGS Earthquake Hazards Program, http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/states/events/1994_01_17.php</ref><ref>The Significant Earthquake Database, NOAA National Geophysical Data Center, http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/nndc/struts/form?t=101650&s=1&d=1</ref> While the West Coast has the most active faults, earthquakes can also affect the Central and Eastern United States, as they did during the 1811 and 1812 New Madrid earthquakes and 1886 Charleston, SC earthquake. Earthquakes not only affect the United States; they are a global hazard, taking millions of lives since 1900.<ref>Earthquakes with 1,000 or More Deaths since 1900, USGS Earthquake Hazards Program, http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/world/world_deaths.php</ref>
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== How does geoscience help inform decisions about earthquake hazards? ==
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Geoscientists measure earthquakes to pinpoint where they are occurring and determine the long-term earthquake hazard an area may face. This understanding of potential earthquake hazard is crucial for urban planning and earthquake-resistant design of buildings and infrastructure. Geoscientists are also developing earthquake early warning systems to give a few seconds of early warning once an earthquake has been detected.
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<gallery>
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File:CI-EQcracks-USGS-h5ipg4-600-400px.jpg|The Peru earthquake of May 31, 1970 caused slumping and cracking of this paved road. Credit: U.S. Geological Survey
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File:CI-EARTH-Christchurch Earthquake Sevicke Jones Building1.jpg|Sevicke Jones Building in Cathedral Square, Christchurch, on 22 February 2011. Credit: Schwede66, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
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File:CI-EqBooks-CSUN-h32fxi-600-400px.jpg|A library in California following an earthquake. Copyright California State University Northridge Geology Department, Image source: Earth Science World Image Bank http://www.earthscienceworld.org/images
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</gallery>
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== Introductory resources ==
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* [http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/kids/eqscience.php The Science of Earthquakes], ''U.S. Geological Survey''
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:A basic definition of earthquakes, what causes them, why they cause shaking, how they are recorded, how scientists can tell where an earthquake happened, and how scientists measure their size.
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== Frequent questions ==
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* [http://www.usgs.gov/faq/categories/9830/3278 Can earthquakes be predicted?]
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* [http://www.usgs.gov/faq/categories/9843/3372 What is the probability that an earthquake is a foreshock to a larger earthquake?]
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* [http://www.usgs.gov/blogs/features/usgs_top_story/man-made-earthquakes/ Does hydraulic fracturing cause earthquakes?]
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== References ==
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{{reflist}}
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== See also ==
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* [http://www.americangeosciences.org/critical-issues/earthquake-basics Earthquake Basics], American Geosciences Institute
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* [[Drought]]
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* [[Flood]]
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* [[Landslide]]
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* [[Sinkhole]]
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* [[Tsunami]]
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* [[Volcano]]
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* [[Waste management]]
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* [[Weather hazards]]
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== External links ==
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{{search}}
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[[Category:AGI Critical Issues]][[Category:Geoscience 101]]

Latest revision as of 10:19, 16 June 2015

Most earthquakes are caused by the sudden release of built-up stress along faults, fractures in the Earth’s crust where large blocks of crustal rock move against one another. An earthquake’s size can be measured by the amount of energy released by that movement. While scientists can't predict earthquakes, they are developing earthquake early warning systems that can provide seconds to minutes of warning when an earthquake occurs. Scientists can also estimate the likelihood of future quakes and use that information to design safer buildings and roads.

Why do earthquakes matter?

Large earthquakes pose a substantial threat along the West Coast and portions of the central and eastern United States. A single event can be devastating: for example, the 1994 Northridge, CA, magnitude 6.7 earthquake caused at least $40 billion in direct damage and killed around sixty people.[1][2] While the West Coast has the most active faults, earthquakes can also affect the Central and Eastern United States, as they did during the 1811 and 1812 New Madrid earthquakes and 1886 Charleston, SC earthquake. Earthquakes not only affect the United States; they are a global hazard, taking millions of lives since 1900.[3]

How does geoscience help inform decisions about earthquake hazards?

Geoscientists measure earthquakes to pinpoint where they are occurring and determine the long-term earthquake hazard an area may face. This understanding of potential earthquake hazard is crucial for urban planning and earthquake-resistant design of buildings and infrastructure. Geoscientists are also developing earthquake early warning systems to give a few seconds of early warning once an earthquake has been detected.

Introductory resources

A basic definition of earthquakes, what causes them, why they cause shaking, how they are recorded, how scientists can tell where an earthquake happened, and how scientists measure their size.

Frequent questions

References

  1. Historic Earthquakes, USGS Earthquake Hazards Program, http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/states/events/1994_01_17.php
  2. The Significant Earthquake Database, NOAA National Geophysical Data Center, http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/nndc/struts/form?t=101650&s=1&d=1
  3. Earthquakes with 1,000 or More Deaths since 1900, USGS Earthquake Hazards Program, http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/world/world_deaths.php

See also

External links

find literature about
Earthquake
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