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Name:  janet l flood
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999

How do earthquakes happen?

Do a search of the general and environmental sections. I know there's tons of discussions about earthquakes.

-Joe Schultz

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 earthquakes occur.


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