Earthquakes can sometimes be really scary things, but they are very interesting in how they form and why they do. Let’s take a look at all you need to know about earthquakes and fill your brain with knowledge!
Earthquakes are a sudden and quick shock of the Earth’s surface.
Earthquakes are actually a type of way that the Earth gets rid of some tension, just like you and I do, except we don’t rock the world.
Wow, this is quite something. More than a million earthquakes happen on Earth every single year. Surprisingly they normally last for less than a minute, but can sure cause some damage.
Wouldn’t it be great if some brainy scientists created some sort of warning system that earthquakes were coming? Well they can’t unfortunately. But who knows what the future might bring. If we knew they were coming we could prepare for them and they wouldn’t cause as much chaos.
There are things called plates that run along the surface of the Earth. They are always moving about and pushing into each other. This is a very slow process, but they do like to bump into each other a bit.
When they are moving around, sometimes they get squeezed or stretched. When this happens rocks form around the edges.
The rocks then move with humongous force and when this happens, we get an earthquake.
When that force is big enough, the crust of the Earth literally breaks. When this break happens, that massive energy moves through the Earth. It’s almost like waves, but obviously a lot bigger. That is exactly what an earthquake is.
Earthquakes are formed along fault lines. This is an area of stress in the Earth. At fault lines the rocks are sliding past each other and will eventually cause a crack in the Earth’s surface.
Plate tectonics are where continents move from one place to the next and they break apart as they move crashing into each other. This is another way that earthquakes are formed.
These plates as they are called move in all sorts of directions and at different speeds too. Sometimes they collide or crash or pull apart from each other. This movement is what also causes earthquakes.
A seismograph is a machine that is used to measure the strength and the length of an earthquake.
You might be wondering what in the world a tsunami has to do with an earthquake, well read on and find out more.
A Richter scale measures the strength of an earthquake. Each one-point increase on the scale indicates ten times the amount of shaking and 33 times the amount of energy. The energy released by a large earthquake may be equal to 10,000 times the energy of the first atomic bomb. Wow, that’s unbelievable!
The most powerful earthquake ever recorded on Earth was in Valdivia, Chile. It happened in 1960, and measured 9.5 on the Richter scale. That is one extremely massive earthquake!