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Introduction to earth science - Research Paper Example

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1 Earthquakes Earthquakes are said to occur as a result of the elastic strain of the part of Earth which is suddenly released by slip on a fault (Brown et al., 1992; Grotzinger et al., 2006). And the termed used to describe the series of events that eventually led to an occurrence of an earthquake is seismic cycle…
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Download file to see previous pages Figure 1 below shows some markers like inter-seismic, co-seismic and post-seismic stages in the Earth that often lead to the happening of an earthquake. 2 The best approach for measuring the size of an earthquake is by determining the orientation of the fault, the direction of the slip, and the area of the fault that was affected during the earthquake (Brown et al., 1992). Through this process, it will be possible to estimate the amplitude of the waves generated by the earthquake by considering the area of the fault that broke and the magnitude of the slip caused by the vibration. In other words, earthquake sizes are currently estimated based on the amplitude of their seismic waves (Brown et al., 1992; Grotzinger et al., 2006). Earthquake magnitudes are measured on the Richter Scales. The figure 2 below show the relationship among the magnitude of an earthquake, the area of a fault that broke in the earthquake, the amount of slip in an earthquake, and the amount of strain energy released in the earthquake (Brown et al., 1992) Magnitude Fault Area (km2) Fault Length (km) Slim (m) Energy (joule) Number/year 3 0.15 0.4 0.008 2x109 100,000 4 1.5 1.2 0.025 6x1010 15000 5 15 4 0.08 2x1012 3000 6 150 12 0.25 6x1013 100 7 1500 40 0.8 2x1015 20 8 1.5x104 120 2.5 6x1016 2 9 1.5x105 400 8 2x1018 Figure 2: Courtesy of Brown et al., 1992. 3 Because of the ways they affect human activities, earthquakes have been subjected to series of studies. One important aspect of the studies is to identify the causes of an earthquake, its size and its overall implications in the areas where it has struck. The old technique of analyzing these issues concentrate on the first seismic waves that emanate from an earthquake occurrence. These first seismic waves are referred to as first motions (Brown et al., 1992; Grotzinger et al., 2006). The first motions are then observed from a distant and analyzed to determine the focal mechanism of the earthquake. However, modern method of studying of earthquakes utilizes sophisticated analysis that may be difficult to explain because of its technical requirements. Lately, scientists are studying the impacts of earthquakes on the environments. Some of the questions experts are asking include but are not restricted the following: (i) Do earthquake cause social hygienic problems whenever it occur? (ii) How do earthquake affect the economy of a particular place where it has occurred. Some answers have been offered to explain the implications of earthquakes in our world; but some experts are still digging for more facts to identify the actual economic cost of an earthquake, and how such a catastrophe can be mitigated in the future (Brown et al., 1992). The most important thing about earthquake is finding the most efficient way to ignite alarm system to the people immediately it strikes. This would be able to minimize both human and economic losses the situation would have caused. In the developed 4 countries, policy makers are spending a lot of money to find out the most applicable earthquake signals that would encourage people to follow evacuation procedures as soon as the earthquakes occurred (Grotzinger et al., 2006). Countries like Indonesia and Japan where the occurrence of earthquakes seem to be once in every other week are constantly seeking the final solutions to the earthquake signal system so as to improve both the pre- and post-occurrence incidents, and subsequently save more lives and protect properties ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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