# What Causes Earthquakes?

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Education

Published on March 1, 2014

Author: littlevagabond

Source: slideshare.net

## Description

Does what it says on the tin... a tutorial about how earthquakes occur.

A normal fault drops rock on one side of the fault down relative to the other side. A normal fault is caused by tension.

A thrust fault raises rock on one side of the fault up relative to the other side. A thrust fault is caused by compression.

In a slip-strike fault, rocky blocks on either side of fault scrape along side-by-side. A slip-strike fault is caused by shearing.

Left-lateral faults in siltstone. Near Lillooet, British Columbia (Canada).

What Causes an Earthquake?

When plates collide or rub past each other, they can cause the Earth to shake. This is because friction stops them from moving easily

1. Two plates moving past each other get jammed together. 2. Increasing pressure causes the plates to move in a sudden jerk – an earthquake. 3. The sudden movement sends a shockwave through the earths crust.

The point of the earths surface directly above the focus is called the epicentre. The point where the seismic waves start is called the focus Seismic Waves

Earthquake energy is released in seismic waves. These waves spread out from the focus. The waves are felt most strongly at the epicentre, becoming less strong as they travel further away. The most severe damage caused by an earthquake will happen close to the epicentre.

When two continental plates converge, we get mountain ranges Mt Everest is one example of this kind of mountain forming. In fact, Mt Everest gets taller by 4mm every year, because the plates continue to converge.

The Himalayas (of which Mt. Everest is a part) are an example of two continental plates converging

The Aleutian Islands are an example of two oceanic plates converging. The Pacific plate is being subducted under the North American plate, giving us a trench.

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