History of Earthquakes

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  • Topic: Earthquake, 2008 Sichuan earthquake, 1976 Tangshan earthquake
  • Pages : 5 (1681 words )
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  • Published : December 23, 2008
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History of Earthquakes
Throughout its prolonged history, the Earth has experienced a myriad of earthquakes that range from minor to major; some of the earthquakes had no fatal impacts while others were extremely catastrophic. However, these earthquakes were undeniably vital in shaping the modern world; without them, some magnificent landscapes that we see today would not exist. In the following paragraphs, we will be discussing the causes and effects of massive earthquakes, and exploring earthquakes that led to the formation of mountains.

The Himalayas
The Himalayas, which are currently the world’s highest mountain ranges, were created in the Earth’s recent history. According to Wikipedia.com, “the formation of the Himalayas is a result of a continental collision along the convergent boundary between the Indo-Australian Plate and the Eurasian plate.” Indeed, the two tectonic plates started to collide at a rate of fifteen centimeters per year about seventy million years ago, during the Upper Cretaceous period. Twenty million years later, the fast-moving Indo-Australian plate had completely closed the Tethys Ocean, whose existence was known through sedimentary rocks settled on the ocean floors and the volcanoes that fringe its edges. As the Indo-Australian plate continues to make its way towards the Eurasian plate, it is driven horizontally below the Tibetan Plateau, thus, forcing the plateau upwards. As a result of this collision, the Arakan Yoma highlands in Myanmar as well as the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal were formed. Today, the Indo-Australian plate is still pushing in the Eurasian plate at a rate of 67 millimeters per year, and based on the information of Wikipedia.com, it will travel about 1,500 kilometers into Asia in the succeeding 10 million years. Since about 20 millimeters per year of the India-Asia convergence is absorbed by thrusting along the Himalaya southern front, the Himalayas are rising by about five millimeters per year. Finally, because of the constant collision of the Indian plate into the Asian Plate, the Himalayas are affected by earthquakes from time to time. ("Himalayas." Wikipedia . 06 06 2008. 7 Jun 2008 .)

Destructive Earthquakes
In 226 BC, a pernicious earthquake hit Rhodes, Greece. Although the magnitude and deaths are unknown, evidence shows that the Colossus Rhodes and the city of Kameiros were destroyed in this phenomenon. ("List of Earthquakes.." Wikipedia . 06 06 2008. 7 Jun 2008 )

The people who resided in the Syrian cities of Ganzah and Aleppo suffered from an extremely devastating earthquake in the year of 1138. This earthquake, known as the Aleppo earthquake, took place on August 9th, 1138. It was about 8.5 in magnitude, and took the lives of approximately 230,000 people. This earthquake is listed as the fourth most destructive earthquakes in history on the United States Geological Survey. ("1138 Aleppo Earthquake." Wikipedia . 06 06 2008. 7 Jun 2008 .)

On July 5th, 1201, the residents of the Eastern Mediterranean were attacked by an earthquake with a magnitude of 9. Because of the 1.1 million deaths it brought, this earthquake is considered the most destructive one in history. Countries that lie in the wide area between Syria and Upper Egypt were all victims of this horrifying earthquake. ("List of Earthquakes.." Wikipedia . 06 06 2008. 7 Jun 2008 )

The next terrifying earthquake occurred in Shaanxi, China, on January 23rd 1556. This earthquake, which had a magnitude of 8, is listed as the deadliest earthquake in history on the United States Geological Survey. Approximately 830,000 citizens of Shaanxi were deprived of their lives during this event. More than 97 counties of China were affected by this earthquake. A 520 mile wide area was destroyed and in some counties, more than 60% of the population did not survive the earthquake. ("List of Earthquakes.." Wikipedia . 06 06 2008. 7 Jun 2008 )

The most well known and destructive earthquake in...
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