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In simple terms, an earthquake is the ground shaking. This is a natural occurrence. It occurs as a result of energy being released, which causes waves that travel in all directions.

Although the Earth appears to be a rather stable planet from the surface, it is actually quite busy beneath the surface. Earth is composed of four fundamental layers: a solid crust, a heated, almost solid mantle, a liquid outer core, and a solid inner core.

The lithosphere is not a single chunk that wraps around the entire Earth like an eggshell. It's actually made up of massive puzzle pieces known as tectonic plates. Tectonic plates are continually moving as they move about on the viscous, or slowly flowing, mantle layer beneath them. This constant movement puts strain on the Earth's crust. When the tensions get too great, they cause fissures known as faults. When tectonic plates move, the faults move with them. An earthquake is defined as a sudden displacement of the Earth's crust along a fault line.

Earthquakes can be a result of volcanic activity and human activities like mining, not only this they can be the cause of intense and severe tsunami waves.

Earthquake Waves (Earthquake Waves)

Seismic waves are energy waves produced by earthquakes or explosions. They are the waves of energy that move through the ground and are detected by seismographs. There are two types of earthquake waves: body waves and surface waves.

Body waves are created by the release of energy at the focus and travel in all directions across the earth's body. As a result, the term "body waves" was coined.

Body waves are classified into two categories.

They are known as P and S waves. P-waves travel at a faster rate and are the first to reach the surface. These are also known as 'primary waves.'P-waves are analogous to sound waves. They move through gases, liquids, and solids. With some latency, S-waves come at the surface. These are referred to as secondary waves. S-waves can only travel through solid materials, which is a crucial detail to remember.

When the body waves interact with the surface rocks, they create a new set of waves known as surface waves. These waves travel along the surface of the water.

Surface waves are the last to be recorded by seismographs. These waves are more damaging. They produce rock displacement and, as a result, collapse.

As a result, the characteristics of seismic waves are crucial. It has aided scientists in their understanding of the structure of the earth's innards.

The magnitude and severity of the shock are used to scale earthquake events. The Richter scale is used to describe the magnitude scale. The magnitude of the quake is related to the amount of energy generated during the quake. The magnitude is given in absolute values ranging from 0 to 10. Mercalli, an Italian seismologist, inspired the intensity scale. The intensity scale considers the visible damage caused by the incident. The intensity scale ranges from 1 to 12.

Effects of Earthquake

Earthquakes are an unavoidable natural hazard. A high-magnitude tremor can cause significant harm to people's lives and property. The following are the immediate hazardous effects of earthquake:

  • Ground Shaking

  • Differential ground settlement Land and mudslides

  • Fires

  • Ground lurching

  • Avalanches

  • Ground displacement

  • Floods from dam and levee failures Structural collapse

  • Tsunami

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