An earthquake is caused by two tectonic plates suddenly slip past each other and cause the shaking of the ground. The spot at which the two plates slip past each other is called a fault or fault plate. The area below the earth’s surface where the earthquake starts is called the hypocenter. The spot directly above the hypocenter, and on the surface, is called the epicenter. An earthquake can also have foreshocks. Foreshocks are smaller earthquakes that are in the same place as the larger earthquake which follows it. Most of the time scientists are unable to tell if there has been a foreshock until the larger earthquake, the mainshock, occurs afterward. Mainshocks always have aftershocks that follow it. Aftershocks are smaller earthquakes than the mainshocks that may last days, weeks, months, or even years after the mainshock occurs.
The earth has four major layers, the inner core, the outer core, the mantle (consisting of the upper and lower mantle) and the crust. The crust and the upper mantle are composed of many pieces, almost like a puzzle, these pieces are called tectonic plates. The tectonic plates are constantly moving; sliding past and bumping into one another. The movement of the tectonic plates is caused by the motion. There are oceanic and continental plates. Most earthquakes that arise are along the tectonic plate boundaries.
Another place where earthquakes can develop is on faults. Faults are cracks in the earth where a section of a plate (or plates) are moving in different directions. Th...
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...gnitude-7.0 or greater.
Another earthquake occurred on December 26, 2004, it was located off the west coast of northern Sumatra and had a magnitude of 9.1. The earthquake started at 12:58 am and ended at 7:58 am at the epicenter the epicenter was located at a depth of about 18.6 miles below the seafloor. It occurred on the interface of the India and Burma tectonic plates. It was caused by the stress released when the Indian plate subducted under the Burma plate. This earthquake is the third largest earthquake in the world since 1900. In total there were 277, 898 people killed or missing and presumed dead. There was also 1.7 million people, from 14 different countries in South Asia and East Africa, that were displaced from their homes by the earthquake and tsunami (which the earthquake caused). The tsunami caused more casualties than any other in recorded history.
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