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Earthquakes - Research Paper Example

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Earthquakes Author’s name Institutional Affiliation Abstract Earthquakes are natural disasters that cause high destruction based on their strength and distance they affect once they occur. They are earth tremors that result from the shifting and shaking of the rocks beneath the earth’s surface, releasing energy that has been build up over long periods…
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Download file to see previous pages As a result, pressure is build up where the plates collide or bend, and the rocks develop cracks or faults that allow them to release the buildup energy, because of the strain. Earthquakes can hence occur at the boundaries or even in middle of the plates, based on where the strain is build up. The paper also gives latest discoveries and unanswered question on how to tell the timing of an earthquake. Keywords: Collide, Earthquakes, Strain, Energy, Boundaries, Magnitude, Seismologists, Seismograph, Faults, Tectonic Plates Introduction Earthquakes are natural disasters that have devastating effects on the environment. They often go unnoticed, and only those with a magnitude capable of being detected are reported or felt on the earth’s surface. According to FEMA, earthquakes are sudden earth shakes or tremors that result from the shifting and breaking of subterranean rocks, as they release accumulated strain build up for a long period (n.d.). It results in immediate effects and the secondary ones caused by the tremors. Major earthquakes are known to have occurred in Alaska, China, and Japan, but more severe cases are also common along the pacific’s known ring of fire towards the west and south coasts of USA. Millions of lives have been lost, damages worth billions of investment, and aftermath displacement of populations have been recorded over history. Geological Features of Earthquakes To understand the concept of earthquake development, one needs to go back to the study of the earth’s content. The structure of the earth can be categorized into four major components, the inner core (solid part made up of nickel and iron), the outer core (molten nickel and iron), the mantle (third layer from the inside and made up of molten rocks), and the outermost earth’s crust, which has the lightest components of all. The crust is known to host a lot of human welfares and is made up of different types of rocks depending on their origin. The thin layer of crust and the top of the mantle make most of the earth’s surface. However, they appear as one entity, despite being made up of many entities or pieces to cover the earth surface. These pieces move around and along each other making the earth’s surface to be in a continuous slow motion. The number of pieces and their movement give the impression of pieces in a puzzle. The pieces are the tectonic plates and float on the molten rocks of the mantle. The tectonic plate theory: The entire earth is covered by Lithosphere that comprise of the continental and oceanic plates that are in constant motion. They slide over the uppermost layer of the mantle (plastic aesthenosphere), and end up causing a geological process where they interact, which explains the concept of continental drift and sea floor spreading. The tectonic plates create movements under, over, past, and away, rubbing each other along their boundaries, whose effects are plates interlocking, stretching or bending where they fail to release the accumulated energy (Coppola, 2011). The boundaries of the plates are rough edges and made up of many faults from which the earthquakes initiate. When the plates collide, some of the rough boundaries interlock; the intense pressure may cause the rocks to heat up and bend to create hilly areas, or spontaneous break to form ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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