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Paper Topic:

The Cause of Earthquakes


The Cause of Earthquakes

[Name of Author]




The Cause of Earthquakes

Thesis statement : Earthquakes are destructive , natural phenomenon caused by either tectonic activity occurring in the crust /mantle area of Earth or violent volcanic activity


Introduction to earthquakes

Definition of an earthquake

Major recorded earthquakes

Measurement of an earthquake

Locating an earthquake

Causes of earthquakes

Tectonic activity

Volcanic activity

The Cause of Earthquakes

When people hear the word earthquake , most of

them would probably say it is `the shaking of the ground ' or `buildings collapse during earthquakes ' while some would probably describe it in one word : chaos catastrophe , etc . You get the picture . People have such a negative connotation on earthquakes because , indeed , it has only brought damage to property and surroundings . Unfortunately , earthquakes are a natural phenomenon that man is unable to control , thwart or prevent . Thus , at the present , the only thing he could probably do is to try to minimize its damage by trying to know more about earthquakes , and then acting according to that knowledge

Definition of an earthquake

To begin this research , one has to define what an earthquake is as scientists have understood it . Thus , earthquakes are a form of energy that is released suddenly by the shifting or colliding of crustal plates on the surface of the earth . On the other hand , it could also be the energy released by the fracture of a stressed rock formation located in the crust (Earthquake , 2007 ) or the result of a volcanic eruption . The latter reason , however , is not always the case

Also , earthquakes are measured by magnitude and may be described via the Richter magnitude scale or the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale , which will be further discussed later on . With the magnitude , one may know how serious an earthquake can be . Thus , when reporters talk about an earthquake , they would often include that it has a magnitude of 6 .3 or 7 .0 , for example , with the larger magnitude being the more serious one

Major recorded earthquakes

Earthquakes probably existed ever since Earth came to being . Geologists studying prehistoric soils have discovered different layers of soil that are usually observed on the aftermath of an earthquake (BC Geological Survey , 2006 . In the last century until 2005 , 22 major earthquakes have been recorded as listed by the United States Geological Survey (2005 In that list , they 've also included the location of the earthquakes , the date it occurred , its magnitude and the corresponding number of deaths each earthquake caused . The largest earthquake recorded during that time occurred at Sumatra , Indonesia on December 26 , 2004 and had a magnitude of 9 .0 . This earthquake also caused around 283 , 106 deaths , including those caused by the tsunami triggered by the earthquake . However , the earthquake that caused the largest number of deaths , an estimate of 655 000 , happened at Tangshan China in 1976 . This earthquake had a magnitude of 7 .5 . Another article by BBC News 24 (2007 ) lists...

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