Earthquake Facts

Fascinating Earthquake Facts

New earthquake facts are being discovered by scientists constantly. Our family lives on the Pacific Ring of Fire in the Cascadia Subduction Zone. People in our area are being warned that we are overdue for a major earthquake. The plates are locked and the tension in the rocks is increasing.

2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami destruction

People often wonder what causes earthquakes

Plates moving on the surface of the Earth converge in areas all over our planet. If two continental plates converge the result are towering mountain ranges like the Himalayan Mountains. The collision of the Indian Plate and the Eurasian plate smashing together has created  the Himalaya Mountains and the Tibetan Plateau.

body waves

Earthquake facts on seismograms led to the discovery that all earthquakes produce P waves and S waves. Small and large earthquakes produce seismic waves when rocks break apart. P waves and S waves are called body waves because they travel through the interior (body) of the Earth. Scientists studying earthquake waves inside the earth have discovered three major boundaries.

Our Earthquake book is packed with fascinating earthquake facts plus an activity in each chapter. 
Chapter topics in the book include  Earthquake History, San Andreas Fault, Moment Magnitude Scale and Preparing for Natural Hazards.        Myrna

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Boundaries inside the Earth

Andrija Mohorovicic looking for earthquake facts about the inside of the Earth discovered a boundary that varied depending whether it was below continental plates or oceanic plates. He had discovered the boundary between the crust and the mantle. The boundary was named the Mohorovicic discontinuity often shortened to Moho.

Beno Gutenberg looking for earthquake facts about the Earth below the Moho boundary discovered that S waves stopped at a secondary boundary inside the Earth. He knew these two earthquake facts. S waves only travel through solids and P waves travel through solids, liquids and gases. Gutenberg then knew that inside the Earth was a liquid core that stopped the S waves.

Inge Lehmann, a Danish seismologist, discovered the solid inner core using the speed and path of P waves that originated in New Zealand. She discovered that P waves slowed down in the liquid outer core and then sped up for a short time. She realized from these earthquake facts that the Earth has a solid inner core inside the liquid outer core.

Earthquake Zones

Scientists looking for earthquake facts about plate movement used the information gathered from seismographs all over the Earth. They discovered that most earthquakes are produced by plate movement. They used seismograms that are the written records produced by a seismographs to plot the exact location of earthquakes.

The scientists discovered that the earthquake facts they gathered from the seismographs created earthquake zones. These zones of earthquakes showed the boundaries of the crustal plates that are moving on the surface of the Earth.

More Links to Earthquake Facts

1960 Chile Earthquake The 1960 Chile earthquake was a magnitude 9.5 the largest earthquake ever recorded!

Earthquake Faults Find out more about fault that go up, down and sideways!

Earthquake Focus Learn where the focus and epicenter of an earthquake are located and exactly what they are?

Haiti Earthquake The devastating Haiti earthquake occurred in a region prone to large earthquakes. Find out why these large earthquakes occur.

P waves Find out more about P Waves that are produced by large and small earthquakes.

Love Waves Find out more about Love waves that can topple tall buildings during large earthquakes!

The Mercalli Scale Did you know there can be twelve different intensities of an earthquake but only one magnitude? Find out why!

Normal Fault Find out why miners often find valuable ore in sites where normal faults have occurred.

Megathrust Earthquake Find out why megathrust earthquakes will occur off the coasts of Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California in the future.

Earthquake Zones Find out where and why earthquakes occur and why there are earthquake zones.

Moment Magnitude Scale Find out why the moment magnitude scale is used to measure great earthquakes.

1964 Alaska Earthquake The Great Alaskan Earthquake find out why Good Friday saved many people's lives!

New Madrid Earthquakes The New Madrid earthquakes were a series of three very large earthquakes felt by people over almost 2 million square miles.

Earthquake Waves Earthquake waves are produced by the more than three million earthquakes each year.

What Causes Earthquakes. Find out what causes earthquakes and other fascinating facts about when our planet shakes, rattles, and rolls.


KIDS FUN Science Bookstore

Check out Myrna Martin's award winning textbooks, e-books, videos and rock sets.  The Kids Fun Science Bookstore covers a wide range of earth science topics.  Click here to browse.