Earthquakes are caused mostly by rupture of geological faults but also by other events such as volcanic activity, landslides, mine blasts, and nuclear tests. An 8 magnitude earthquake releases the same amount of energy as atomic bombs like those used in World War II. A magnitude 0 earthquake releases about 1,000 times the energy of an atomic bomb.
About Earthquake in brief
An earthquake is the shaking of the surface of the Earth resulting from a sudden release of energy in the Earth’s lithosphere that creates seismic waves. Earthquakes are caused mostly by rupture of geological faults but also by other events such as volcanic activity, landslides, mine blasts, and nuclear tests. An earthquake’s point of initial rupture is called its hypocenter or focus. The epicenter is the point at ground level directly above the hypocenter. An 8 magnitude earthquake releases the same amount of energy as atomic bombs like those used in World War II. For every unit of magnitude, there is a roughly thirtyfold increase in the energy released. For instance, 0 releases approximately 32 times more energy than a 5 magnitude earthquake and a magnitude 7. releases 1.0 times as much energy as a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. The topmost, brittle part of Earth’s crust, the tectonic plates that are descending down into the hot mantle, are the only parts of our planet that are not affected by earthquakes. The only parts that are affected are the parts of the planet’s mantle that are below the surface and in the deep core of the earth. This is the part that is affected by volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, and other natural events. It is estimated that only 10 percent or less of an earthquake’s total energy is radiated as seismic energy. Most of the earthquake’s energy is used to power the earthquake fracture growth or is converted into heat generated by friction. The most powerful earthquakes, megathrust earthquakes, including almost all of those of magnitude 8 or more, are responsible for about 90% of the total seismic moment released worldwide.
The largest earthquakes can produce major earthquakes up to about magnitude 8. A magnitude 0 earthquake releases about 1,000 times the energy of an atomic bomb, while a magnitude 10,000 earthquake releases around 10,500 times the same energy as those used by the Nazis during World War I and II. The energy released in an earthquake is proportional to the length and width of the fault area that ruptures and thus its magnitude, and thus the stress drop. The longer the fault is, the larger the drop in stress and the longer the area that is ruptured. The larger the earthquake, the higher the magnitude, so the resulting area of stress is larger the resulting earthquake. A quake of magnitude 6.5 or more is the equivalent of about 1.5 million atomic bombs. The magnitude of an 8 earthquake is about 6,000 to 8,000 atomic bombs, and the magnitude of a magnitude 6 earthquake is around 1,500 to 8.0 million. The earthquake of magnitude 7 or more can produce a massive tsunami, with the seabed being displaced sufficiently to cause a large earthquake to take place. It can also trigger landslides and occasionally, volcanic activity. The word tremor is also used for non-earthquake seismic rumbling. The seismicity, or seismic activity, of an area is the frequency, type, and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time.
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This page is based on the article Earthquake published in Wikipedia (as of Dec. 29, 2020) and was automatically summarized using artificial intelligence.