Earthquakes occur when a sudden eruption of energy in the Earths Crust and causes the perceptive shaking of the Earths’ surface, also known as seismic waves. Tectonic tremors are caused along the fault lines located all throughout the world, whether inland or in the middle of the sea. These happen when either side of the fault line move past each other in various motions such as thrusting above, below or horizontally. While most earthquakes are caused naturally when the Earths’ tectonic plates shift, however some have been caused by humanity itself. Some known man-made induced tremors have occurred due to dam water levels shifting in large enough amounts to offset the faults, removing tons of rock while coal mining, among other various activities requiring heavy pressure or the removal there of in large loads or accelerated time periods.
Measuring and Predictability
Quakes were formerly measured by the Richter Scale, which has since been replaced with the Moment Magnitude Scale (MMS). Richter’s Scale, developed in 1935, was based on the theory of Local Magnitude while the current MMS is based on the theory of Moment Magnitude, to allow for earthquakes across various distances. I could try to explain this in further detail but I’m afraid i would not do it justice. The important part is that they now use a specific formula that has been vastly tested, to verify the magnitude of current earthquakes accurately. As far as predictability of these tremors, there still hasn’t been much of an improvement here in the states. Scientists can determine if a tectonic plate will collide or shift but have not yet been able to pin point a specific date or even specific time period that it may occur. The best they can do is track its habits and predict that at some point in the varying future the strained energy will emerge. The good news is; there are extra precautions that one can take if they happen to live in a possible earthquake zone.