Sc300 Unit 4 Assignment

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Of all the naturally occurring events on Earth, earthquakes are among the most devastating and bring a lot of truth to the statement, “Just because something is natural does not mean it is not dangerous.” Earthquakes are one of the most natural things I can think of that can cause massive damage and loss of human live in many instances, and the effects are sometimes long term. “Nothing happens without a force. Many geophysicists accept the theory that continents move as a result of the forces generated by mantel convection deep within Earth – motions driven by our planet’s internal heat energy” (Trefil & Hazen, 2010). According to National Geographic (1996-2012), constant movement in the tectonic plates that make up the Earth’s crust causes an earthquake. The constant nature of this movement causes a buildup of energy, which is stored in rocks at fault lines. The stored energy is eventually released and a sudden, rapid shaking of the Earth is the result. “An Earthquake is what happens when two blocks of the earth suddenly slip past one another” (Wald, 2009). An event cannot be more natural than the Earth itself actually causing it.

According to Wald (2009), an Earthquake is not just simply one moment of shaking or vibrations from the Earth. An Earthquake can have foreshocks, main shocks, and aftershocks. Foreshocks are smaller earthquakes that happen in the same place as the large earthquake that follows. Wald (2009) continues that the main earthquake itself is called the main shock and main shocks are always followed by aftershocks. These are smaller earthquakes that occur afterwards in the same exact place as the main shock. Aftershocks can continue for weeks, months, and even years after main shocks. Through all these things, earthquakes can cause an unsettling amount of damage.

Questions Answered:
1. In researching the earthquake patterns across the United States there are many more at risk areas on the west coast of the United States, mainly in the location of California. Additionally, there is a very dangerous spot for seismic activity in an interesting area that encompasses the joining corners of five different states. These states include Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas. In addition to California and the Midwest area, South Carolina also has a unique “danger” area for seismic activity. It seems high seismic activity occurs on the edges of the continent like the west coast. The areas north and south of the United States where it joins other pieces of land like Canada or Mexico, do not appear to have much seismic energy at all therefore, no fear of danger. 2. According to USGS Map (2008), my area of residence, Indianapolis, Indiana, the light blue color is used to label a majority of the state. This leaves the residents of my city and state at low risks for earthquakes. According to USGS Map (2008), the hazardous scale starts at white meaning very low risk, the next color in the line of climbing seismic activity would be light blue, and then green, then yellow, then orange, and finally red, which is the highest hazard. 3. According to USGS (2011) which is a map of the latest earthquake activity in the world for the past seven days, most earthquakes occurred in the Pacific Ocean, but only along the edges of the landmasses of Asia, Australia, and North America. There are only three earthquakes that occurred that is surrounded by water and away from land. There is also a pattern in the size of the earthquakes and their locations. Larger earthquakes are seen along the edges or around Australia and some on the edge of Asia. The earthquakes occurring in the United States still surround California, however, are of much smaller magnitude, which are 5 or lower. This may give some insight as to wear the tectonic plates are located in the ear, causing the earthquakes by meeting together. 4. According to USGS (2011), an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3...
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