Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsEarth Sciences & Geology · 1 decade ago

how earthquakes happen?

Do earthquakes oocur when 2 plates push against each other causing friction and than there is so much friction that it causes a explosion from the heat of the friction and the explosion causes the ground to shake (if this is true why don't scientist just measure the heat before the explosion to predict the earthquake)

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Most earthquakes are the result of strain which builds up in the earth due to the movement of its tectonic plates. Where plates meet, they move relative to each other. However, friction keeps the two plates from actually sliding past one another until the strain reaches a critical level, at which point the plates shift, producing the shock waves of an earthquake. Earthquakes can also occur in the middle of a plate; if the plate motion is uneven, stresses can develop within the plate and result in large-scale faulting.

    Volcanic activity can also cause earthquakes. The pressure caused by rising magma can fracture the rocks above it, and the movement of the magma itself also causes a specific type of earthquake called a harmonic tremor, which is an indicator that a volcanic eruption may occur soon.

    Shock waves can be produced in the earth even without actual earth movement. Heavy surf as well as explosions, mining, construction, and other human activities also produce measurable waves in the earth which can be recorded by seismometers.

    An earthquake isn't an explosion caused by heat, but temperature changes in a fault zone are one of many things being studied to see if they can be used to predict earthquakes. Unfortunately, although some earthquakes are preceded by noticeable changes, the changes don't occur consistently enough from one quake to the next to be used for predictive purposes at this time.

  • 1 decade ago

    An earthquake is the vibration, sometimes violent, of the Earth's surface that follows a release of energy in the Earth's crust. This energy can be generated by a sudden dislocation of segments of the crust, by a volcanic eruption, or event by manmade explosions. Most destructive quakes, however, are caused by dislocations of the crust. The crust may first bend and then, when the stress exceeds the strength of the rocks, break and "snap" to a new position. Earthquakes tend to reoccur along faults, which reflect zones of weakness in the Earth's crust.

    Source(s): my science class
  • 3 years ago

    all of us understand why earthquakes ensue in the Bay section: 2 of the earth's greatest tectonic plates meet in the location of the San Francisco Bay section. while boundary faults wreck, the North American and Pacific Plates roll unexpectedly and inconsistently previous one yet another and quakes ensue. all of us understand that great and adverse earthquakes are absolute to ensue sooner or later: a minimum of 8 faults in the Bay section are able to producing earthquakes of value 6.7 or larger. Such quakes would reason significant injury to homes, roads, bridges, and utilities, ensuing in harm or dying to human beings in the section.

  • an earthquake occurs when plates slide in any direction on what's called the mantle. Imagine the mantle being like a soapy plate. You can't really measure when the earthquake will occur, because you can't predict when a plate will slide away or toward another.

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  • 1 decade ago

    it is caused by 2 plates moving and hitting each other and latching on and put a lot of force moving past each other puling hard and then suddenly letting go then caused and enormous shake which is an Earthquake

  • toodd
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Sorry, science could not find out a unique factor of earthquakes yet and still suffer process errors.

  • 1 decade ago

    Earthquakes happen when one tectonic plate slides under another and this causes seismic waves which are called earthquakes

    For more detail try wikipedia

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Very few people have any idea how they happen, and even those few are not sure of anything. Some scientists propose that quakes are a sort of underground lightning, and that is about as good as any other idea so far.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes and they do have special machines that watch the earth.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes. but they don't push they rub together.

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