About This Chapter
Earthquakes - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives
Earthquakes are the often catastrophic results of the rapid release of elastic energy stored in rocks. In this chapter, our knowledgeable instructors explain the causes of earthquakes and the terms used to describe their various aspects. You will learn about the damage earthquakes can cause and examine the technologies scientists use to study them. By the time you've finished the videos in this chapter, you will be familiar with:
- The definition, causes, and history of earthquakes
- Aftershocks and foreshocks
- Scientific methods of studying and measuring earthquakes
- Destruction caused by earthquakes
- The source of earthquakes
|What is an Earthquake? - Definition and History||Describe the nature of earthquakes and define faults, foci, and epicenter.|
|The Causes of Earthquakes||Learn how the rapid release of energy stored in rocks causes earthquakes and explain elastic rebound.|
|Aftershocks and Foreshocks of an Earthquake||Examine the difference between aftershocks and foreshocks.|
|Using Seismic Waves||Describe how seismic waves are used to study earthquakes.|
|Using the Richter Scale||Explore how scientists use Richter Scale as a method of measuring earthquakes.|
|Destruction Caused by Earthquakes||Study the nature of the damage caused by earthquakes.|
|Identifying the Source||Research how the source of an earthquake is identified.|
1. What is an Earthquake? - Definition and Components
When tensional stress caused by constantly shifting tectonic plates builds up enough energy, it results in an earthquake. Learn more about the definition of earthquakes and explore its components, such as faults, foreshocks and aftershocks, the focus or point at which rock breaks below the surface, and the epicenter.
2. The Causes of Earthquakes
Earthquakes can be detrimental natural disasters. Learn how tectonic plates make the ground shake through faults, and discover how the elastic rebound theory is correlated with the Earth's motion.
3. Identifying and Understanding Earthquakes Using Seismic Activity
Learn about the importance of identifying and understanding earthquakes using seismic activity. Review seismographs and the different types of waves, including body waves vs. surface waves.
4. Aftershocks & Foreshocks of an Earthquake
When rock below the Earth's surface breaks, it produces a large burst of energy called an earthquake. Earthquakes have foreshocks before they arrive, and aftershocks after they are gone. Investigate the foreshocks and aftershocks of an earthquake, and how they pertain to seismic activity.
5. Using the Richter Scale to Measure Earthquakes
The Richter scale measures the magnitude of earthquakes by calculating seismic data (vibrations beneath the Earth's crust) and energy expended. Explore how the Richter scale measures ground shaking as well as the use of the moment magnitude scale.
6. Destruction Caused by Earthquakes
Earthquakes cause severe destruction and damage to the land and infrastructure. Explore the types of destruction and damage caused by earthquakes: physical land destruction, destruction near and at sea, structural damage, and economic damage.
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Other chapters within the Earth Science 101: Earth Science course
- Earth Science Basics
- Geologic Time
- Characteristics of Matter
- Earth's Spheres and Internal Structure
- Plate Tectonics
- Minerals and Rocks
- Igneous Rocks
- Volcanic Landforms
- Weathering and Erosion
- Sedimentary Rocks: A Deeper Look
- Metamorphic Rocks: A Deeper Look
- Rock Deformation and Mountain Building
- Water Balance on Earth
- Running Water
- Ground Water
- Coastal Hazards
- Earth's Atmosphere
- Weather, Air Masses & Storms
- Earth History
- Energy Resources
- Studying for Earth Science 101