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Post Falls High School, Physical Geology. PLATES BOUNDARIES Earthquakes occur along plate boundaries SEISMIC ACTIVITY.

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Presentation on theme: "Post Falls High School, Physical Geology. PLATES BOUNDARIES Earthquakes occur along plate boundaries SEISMIC ACTIVITY."— Presentation transcript:

1 Post Falls High School, Physical Geology

2 PLATES BOUNDARIES Earthquakes occur along plate boundaries SEISMIC ACTIVITY

3 Stars indicate earthquake foci. A. Divergent –They are Shallow and weak. B. Subduction – Deep (down to 700 km) and very strong. C. Convergent – Down to 300 km and sometimes strong. D. Transform Fault – Down to 100 km and often strong. EARTHQUAKES IN PLATE MARGINS

4 An Earthquake is caused by sudden release of elastic energy stored in rocks. Elastic deformation: Any change of shape or size that disappears when the deforming forces are removed.

5 The focus of an earthquake is the site of first movement on a fault and the center of energy release. The epicenter of an earthquake is the point of the Earth's surface that lies vertically above the focus.

6 When an earthquake occurs, the elastically stored energy is carried outward from the focus to other parts of the Earth by vibrations. These vibrations are called seismic waves and spread out spherically in all directions, just as sound waves do.

7 Body Waves: Travel outward in all directions from the focus and have the capacity to travel through the Earth's interior. P (primary) waves -compression/expansion S (secondary) waves - shear Surface Waves: Travel around but not through the Earth; they are guided by the Earth's surface. SEISMIC WAVES


9 Body Wave P waves in motion

10 Body Wave S wave in motion

11 Surface Wave L wave in motion




15 P waves are the fastest wave S waves are slightly slower L waves are the slowest of the three waves

16 A highly simplified simulated recording of earthquake waves (a seismogram). This seismogram is a simulation. The actual records of earthquake waves are far more complicated than what is presented here

17 The speed differences between waves are used to determine the distance away an earthquake is from the recording station. A seismogram can not tell in what direction the earthquake occurred. Seismologist use simple triangulation (math) to determine the epicenter of an earthquake.


19 The Richter magnitude scale is used to measure the strength of an earthquake. It assigns a single number to quantify the size of an earthquake. It is a base-10 logarithmic scale. Developed in 1935 by Charles Richter in collaboration with Beno Gutenberg. Measuring Earthquake Magnitude

20 Magnitudes Effects Less than 3.5 Generally not felt, but recorded Often felt, but rarely causes damage Under 6.0 At most slight damage to well-designed buildings. Can cause major damage to poorly constructed buildings over small regions Can be destructive in areas up to about 100 kilometers across where people live Major earthquake. Can cause serious damage over larger areas 8 or greater Great earthquake. Can cause serious damage in areas several hundred kilometers across

21 The Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale is commonly used in the United States by seismologists seeking information on the severity of earthquake effects. Intensity ratings are expressed as Roman numerals between I at the low end and XII at the high end. The Intensity Scale differs from the Richter Scale in that the effects of any one earthquake vary greatly from place to place, so there may be many Intensity values (e.g.: IV, VII) measured from one earthquake Measuring Earthquake Magnitude

22 I.People do not feel any Earth movement. II. A few people might notice movement if they are at rest and/or on the upper floors of tall buildings. III.Many people indoors feel movement. Hanging objects swing back and forth. People outdoors might not realize that an earthquake is occurring. IV. Most people indoors feel movement. Hanging objects swing. Dishes, windows, and doors rattle. The earthquake feels like a heavy truck hitting the walls. A few people outdoors may feel movement. Parked cars rock. V.Almost everyone feels movement. Sleeping people are awakened. Doors swing open or close. Dishes are broken. Pictures on the wall move. Small objects move or are turned over. Trees might shake. Liquids might spill out of open containers.

23 VII Everyone feels movement. People have trouble walking. Objects fall from shelves. Pictures fall off walls. Furniture moves. Plaster in walls might crack. Trees and bushes shake. Damage is slight in poorly built buildings. No structural damage. People have difficulty standing. Drivers feel their cars shaking. Some furniture breaks. Loose bricks fall from buildings. Damage is slight to moderate in well-built buildings; considerable in poorly built buildings. VIII. Drivers have trouble steering. Houses that are not bolted down might shift on their foundations. Tall structures such as towers and chimneys might twist and fall. Well-built buildings suffer slight damage. Poorly built structures suffer severe damage. Tree branches break. Hillsides might crack if the ground is wet. Water levels in wells might change.

24 IX.Well-built buildings suffer considerable damage. Houses that are not bolted down move off their foundations. Some underground pipes are broken. The ground cracks. Reservoirs suffer serious damage. X. Most buildings and their foundations are destroyed. Some bridges are destroyed. Dams are seriously damaged. Large landslides occur. Water is thrown on the banks of canals, rivers, lakes. The ground cracks in large areas. Railroad tracks are bent slightly. XI. Most buildings collapse. Some bridges are destroyed. Large cracks appear in the ground. Underground pipelines are destroyed. Railroad tracks are badly bent. XII. Almost everything is destroyed. Objects are thrown into the air. The ground moves in waves or ripples. Large amounts of rock may move.

25 Moment Magnitude Richter's original methodology is no longer used because it does not give reliable results when applied to M >= 7 earthquakes and it was not designed to use data from earthquakes recorded at epicentral distances greater than about 600 km. It is, therefore, useful to separate the method and the scale in releasing estimates of magnitude to the public


27 Seismic moment of an earthquake is given by The actual moment magnitude is calculate using

28 Comparison between the Richter and Moment Magnitude Scales EarthquakeRichter ScaleMoment Magnitude New Madrid, MO, San Francisco, CA Prince William, AK Northridge, CA,

29 Earthquake hazards exist throughout the United States

30 GREAT U.S. EARTHQUAKES New Madrid 1811 and 1812 Earthquakes The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake - April 18, :12 AM The great Alaska earthquake of 1964 – March 27,1964 5:36 p.m.

31 Although most Americans associate earthquakes with California, the tremors that shook the Mississippi valley in southeast Missouri from December 16, 1811, through February 7, 1812, are among the most violent quakes ever to hit the North American continent in recorded history. Collectively known as the New Madrid earthquakes, these quakes affected more than 1 million square miles.

32 New Madrid Earthquakes Roman numerals indicate estimated Modified Mercalli intensities for a 6.5 magnitude earthquake. The New Madrid seismic zone is so named because the town of New Madrid, Missouri was the closest settlement to the epicenters of the quakes.

33 Isoseismal map for the earthquake of December 16,1811 (first of the New Madrid series). Felt in Washington & Boston (causing church bells to ring).

34 Severe shaking accompanied the powerful New Madrid earthquakes. By winter's end, few houses within 250 miles of the Mississippi River town of New Madrid (Missouri) remained undamaged.

35 “On the morning of Monday, the 16th of December, 1811, several shocks of earthquakes were felt at the city of Washington. The first of these happened at three o'clock; and in some houses was considerable enough to shake the doors and windows, and wake persons from their sleep. There were successive tremors. Tassels of curtains were seen to move; and pitchers of washing-stands were heard to rattle upon their basins. The sound was very distinguishable, and was believed by many to pass from southwest to northeast. The alarm was so great in some families, that searches were made from room to room, to discover the robbers who were imagined to have broken into the houses.” A Detailed Narrative of the Earthquakes which occurred on the 16th day of December, 1811 Samuel L. Mitchill

36 The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake The quake lasted only a minute but caused the worst natural disaster in the nation's history. Modern analysis estimates it registered 8.25 on the Richter scale. The greatest destruction came from the fires the quake ignited. These ravaged the city for three days before burning themselves out.

37 This photograph by Arnold Genthe shows Sacramento Street and approaching fire.

38 The Great fire as seen from a ferry boat in the bay

39 Refugees search for souvenirs on sidewalk in front of the Stanford mansion on Powell Street at California.

40 This photograph, taken from a tethered balloon five weeks after the great earthquake

41 The quake awoke G.A. Raymond as he slept in his room at the Palace Hotel. This is an excerpt from his description of escape. “How I reached the ferry I cannot say. It was bedlam, pandemonium and hell rolled into one. There must have been 10,000 people trying to get on that boat. Men and women fought like wildcats to push their way aboard.”

42 16 Views of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire From the Archives of The Museum of the City of San Francisco

43 The Great Fire as seen from a ferry boat in the Bay.

44 Fire around the Call Building at Third and Market Streets. Emporium, at Powell and Market, is at right.

45 “Ham and Egg” fire burns at Grove and Laguna streets. View is along Grove Street. City Hall dome can be seen in the smoke cloud.

46 Close-up view of refugees fleeing along Grove Street. The large clusters of refugees along the street suggest they are involved in rescuing trapped persons.

47 Crowds gather at Market and Laguna streets to flee the Great Fire. Building at lower center right still survives as do along Laguna. Almost all others pictured here burned.

48 View from Laguna and Market streets of the Great Fire burning through the Mission District.

49 View of the Great Fire as seen from Chinatown.

50 Dreadful earthquake damage, along Grant Ave., in Chinatown.

51 Refugees search for souvenirs on sidewalk in front of the Stanford mansion on Powell Street at California.

52 Sunken cobblestone paving along Spear at Market Street.

53 Ruined homes and pavement on Dore Street near Folsom.

54 Mission Dolores on Dolores at 16th street, and the wrecked Parish church next to it.

55 Damaged warehouse in the area of Nineteenth and Folsom streets.

56 Earthquake-wrecked water main near Crystal Springs Reservoir in San Mateo County.

57 Broken water mains on Valencia between 18th and 19th streets.

58 Refugees built shanties from any available materials to house themselves after the disaster. This encampment is near the Marina. The Army later provided tents for refugees.

59 San Francisco earthquake 1989









68 The Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964 The Alaskan earthquake of 1964 was the largest earthquake in North America and the second largest ever recorded (largest occurred in Chile in 1960). The strong ground motion reported in the Anchorage area lasted about 4- 5 minutes which triggered many avalanches, landslides and tsunamis.

69 The Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964 The 1964 earthquake caused 115 deaths in Alaska alone, with 106 of these due to tsunamis which were generated by tectonic uplift of the sea floor, and by localized subareal and submarine landslides.

70 The Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964 Tsunamis generated by the 1964 earthquake (and their subsequent damage, loss of life, etc.) were recorded throughout the Pacific. This was the most disastrous tsunami to hit the U.S. West Coast and British Columbia in Canada. The largest wave height for this tsunami was reported at Shoup Bay, Valdez Inlet (67 meters)


72 Government Hill Elementary School in Anchorage was one of many schools severely damaged by quake-triggered landslides. These thick trees near Port Valdez splintered into pieces against the force of massive tsunami waves.

73 In Idaho, too! October 28, 1983 Mt. Borah/Challis 7.3 on the Richter Scale

74 Eyewitness Account “ On the morning of October 28, Don Hendrickson and John Turner were on a dirt road in Arentson Gulch, Idaho, in a 4WD pickup, looking for elk, when Don, after feeling light-headed and dizzy, saw the roadfall away in front of his vehicle, as if a sinkhole had formed. This was followed by the formation of a surface rupture about 20m in front of the vehicle, with the only sound being the crumbling of earth in front of them. This was followed by violent shaking and a deafening roar, the entire episode lasting seconds.”

75 Eyewitness Account “At the same time, Mrs Lawana Knox was seated on a north slope of a hill looking for her husband, a hunter, when a 1 to 1.5m high fault scarp formed in front of her at about 300m in distance, reaching its full height in about one second! The scarp seemed to tear from NW to SE along the flank of the mountain just as though one took a paint brush and painted a line along the hill. It took only seconds to extend several miles along the range front…..”






81 Secondary Effects Most of the damage done by earthquakes is due to their secondary effects, those not directly caused by fault movement, but resulting instead from the propagation of seismic waves away from the fault rupture. Secondary effects result from the very temporary passage of seismic waves, but can occur over very large regions, causing wide-spread damage.

82 Secondary Effects Natural - Landslides/mudflow - Liquifaction - Subsidence - Tsunamis Man-made - Dam failures - Secondary fires

83 Earthquake induced landslide - Madison River, Montana, million tons of rock released as a result of the quake - River was dammed creating Quake Lake Landslides/ mudflow

84 Liquifaction Flow of material, particularly that with a high H 2 O content Ejection of sand- slurry through overlying soil etc. Causes sand volcanoes, destroys crop land, disrupts underground utilities, weakens building foundations

85 Tsunamis - small amplitude, long wavelength in open ocean - speed ~ mph - near shore the waves begin to break and the enormous quantity of water “piles up” - breaking wave may be m high - Aleutian Islands, 1946; 10 hours later hits Hawaii


87 Locations of past tsunamis around the world

88 The earliest description of a tsunami- type wave comes from 479 B.C. in the northern part of the Aegean Sea. Similar waves have been reported worldwide, though they are more common in the Pacific, with its earthquake-prone perimeter.

89 The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC (07:58:53 local time) on December 26, The earthquake generated a tsunami that was among the deadliest disasters in modern history. earthquakeUTCDecember tsunamideadliest disastersmodern history At magnitude of 9.0, it was the largest earthquake since the 9.2 magnitude Good Friday Earthquake off Alaska in 1964, and tied for fourth largest since In February 2005, new analysis suggested the magnitude was underestimated, and one study estimates it at 9.3; however, the USGS has not yet confirmed this (McKee, 9 Feb 2005)).magnitudeGood Friday EarthquakeAlaska February 2005USGS The earthquake originated in the Indian Ocean just north of Simeulue island, off the western coast of northern Sumatra, Indonesia. The resulting tsunami devastated the shores of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, South India, Thailand and other countries with waves up to 30 m (100 feet) high It caused serious damage and deaths as far as the east coast of Africa, with the furthest recorded death due to the tsunami occuring at Port Elizabeth in South Africa, 8 000km (5 000 miles) away from the epicenter.Indian Oceannorth SimeulueSumatra IndonesiaSri LankaSouth IndiaThailandAfricaPort ElizabethSouth Africa

90 Asian Tsunami, Dec., 2004




94 WorldwideFatalities China's Yellow River breaks its banks in Huayan Kou900, Earthquake in China's Shaanxi, Shanxi and Henan provinces 830, Cyclone in Bangladesh500, Earthquake in Tangshan, China242, Asian quake disaster - toll so far150, Tokyo earthquake140, Volcanic eruption of Mount Tambora on Indonesia's Sumbawa Island 90, earthquake in Bam, Iran30, Tsunami in Japan27,000

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