Name: janet l flood
How do earthquakes happen?
Do a search of the general and environmental sections. I know there's
tons of discussions about earthquakes.
Here are some earthquake basics:
Earthquakes happen because the outer layer of the earth
(the crust) is slowly being deformed by stresses that
are placed on the crust. These stresses build up along
locked portions of the crust where earthquake faults are.
Eventually the stresses become too great for one of the faults
to withstand, and the crust suddenly moves, like a spring
that has been wound too tightly. This sudden movement of
the ground is called an earthquake.
Most of the stresses that cause earthquakes can be
explained by the theory of plate tectonics. According
to this theory, the crust of the earth is broken up into
many tectonic plates--something like a cracked egg shell.
Unlike an egg shell, however, the earth's plates are not
fixed in one location, but raft above a partially molten layer
of the earth which is about 60 miles deep. Where the
edges of the plates meet, stresses build up, and
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Update: June 2012