Week 3 Earthquake Assignment
Have you ever got so mad you have to squeeze something to release your pressure? Or maybe you walk around aimlessly taking deep breaths to try and discharge the stress something or someone caused. Our earth, too, has a way of releasing pressure. Earthquakes are the result of the earth’s crust letting go of its strain and stress. Earthquakes can be defined as a sudden and violent shaking of the ground resulting when the earth’s crust releases pressure that has accumulated over time. Looking more into the study of plate tectonics can help to establish a better understanding of earthquakes.
How the Earth stores strain and releases stress along earthquake faults
The earth’s lithosphere is constantly moving. As you may know, the modern day continents were once merged together as one continent called Pangaea. Slowly, fracturing pieces moved apart. Even today, the lithosphere is constantly moving. It is estimated that the continents today, move about an inch a year. Reid’s Elastic Rebound Theory proves “if a stretched rubber band is broken or cut, elastic energy stored in the rubber band during the stretching will suddenly be released. Similarly, the crust of the earth can gradually store elastic stress that is released suddenly during an earthquake. ” Earthquakes generate sever kinds of seismic waves which include the two main waves, P (push) waves and S waves. P waves move in a compressional motion similar to a slinky, and S waves move in a shear motion perpendicular to the direction the wave is travelling, almost as if you were to snatch a rope. The travel time of these waves enables scientists to locate the epicenter of a quake. There are a few other types of waves including the Love waves and Rayleigh waves.
Three common plate margins along which earthquakes occur
The three common plate margins in which earthquakes occur are convergent boundaries,...