What is an earthquake?
Updated On: Jul 07 2010 06:12:46 AM CDT
An earthquake, also known as a quake, tremor, temblor or seismic activity, is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves.
Earthquakes are measured with a seismometer; a device which also records is known as a seismograph.
At the Earth's surface, earthquakes manifest themselves by shaking and sometimes displacing the ground.
When a large earthquake epicenter is located offshore, the seabed sometimes suffers sufficient displacement to cause a tsunami.
The shaking in earthquakes can also trigger landslides and occasionally volcanic activity.
In its most generic sense, the word earthquake is used to describe any seismic event, whether a natural phenomenon or an event caused by humans, that generates seismic waves.
Earthquakes are caused mostly by rupture of geological faults, but also by volcanic activity, landslides, mine blasts, and nuclear experiments.
An earthquake's point of initial rupture is called its focus or hypocenter.
The term epicenter refers to the point at ground level directly above the hypocenter.
More than a million earthquakes rattle the world each year.
The West Coast is most at risk of having an earthquake, but earthquakes can happen in the Midwest and along the East Coast as well.
Earthquakes can be felt over large areas although they usually last less than one minute.
Earthquakes cannot be predicted, although scientists are working on it!
Driver killed when car hits tree on Route 10 in Berks
5-alarm fire at motel in Muhlenberg; wind hampering efforts
Man killed when hit by minivan near airport
Man killed, woman seriously injured in motorcycle crash
Reading police officer charged in theft of money evidence
Police seek to interview man in investigation of woman's death
Life Lessons: 8 foods to buy now
MH370 search: Officials not 'excited' over new object
Drug cartel actions in Mexico force local grocers to increase lime prices
More tests needed on body of woman found in rural Berks