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Seismicity & Earthquakes

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Presentation on theme: "Seismicity & Earthquakes"— Presentation transcript:

1 Seismicity & Earthquakes

2 Questions 1) Where would you expect the higher earthquake insurance rates: Florida or Oregon? 2) Briefly explain. 3) Did you use inductive or deductive reasoning ? 4) explain

3 What is an Earthquake? Vibration of the Earth produced by the rapid release of energy. Energy release due to plate tectonics and failure (fault zones) of the Earth’s crust Energy radiates as waves in all directions from the focus (source) Epicenter – surface expression of the focus

4 Elastic Rebound Theory
Tectonic forces slowly deform the rock As the rock bends, it stores energy When the rock’s resistance to the stress is overcome, the rock slips or breaks Slippage occurs at the weakest point (focus), rock “snaps” back to original position Energy released produces the vibrations we know as an earthquake


6 Earthquake Waves - Seismicity
Seismic waves – elastic energy released at the focus following the rupture of rock Seismology- study of earthquake (seismic) waves Seismograph – instrument that records earthquake waves Seismogram – record of the seismic waves

7 Seismogram

8 Seismogram

9 Seismic Waves P-waves and S-waves are body waves, they travel through the Earth’s interior. Surface waves travel along the Earth’s outer layer.

10 P-waves – Primary Waves
Compressional wave – push and pull rock in direction of movement Can travel through all materials (solids, liquids, and gases) Fastest moving wave Smallest wave amplitude (lowest energy)

11 S-waves – Secondary Waves
Shear wave - Waves shake material at right angles to their direction of movement TRAVEL ONLY THROUGH SOLIDS Intermediate speed – 2nd to arrive as seismic station

12 Surface waves Move up and down, similar to ocean waves
Can also move side-to-side. Very damaging waves Travel the slowest – last to arrive at seismic station Greatest wave amplitude (highest energy)


14 Locating Earthquakes Need three seismic stations.
Use the time difference (tH) in the arrival of the p-waves and the s-waves. Distance (d) extrapolated from a time-distance graph. A circle with a radius of d is drawn around the seismic station. Earthquake occurred somewhere on the circle. The intersection from three stations shows the epicenter location.

15 Locations of Earthquakes
By studying 1000s of earthquakes, geologists learned most occur along plate boundaries

16 Earthquake Intensity and Magnitude
Mercalli intensity scale Assesses the damage from an earthquake at a specific location Based upon human observation Can vary from location to location

17 Earthquake Intensity and Magnitude
Richter Scale Describes the earthquakes magnitude (energy released) Measures amplitude of largest wave, adjusted for travel time Is the same from location to location A 1 digit increase in Richter scale is a 30 fold increase in energy released

18 Is the Earth Entirely Solid?
What piece of the Earth is not solid? How do we know this? Seismic waves Different materials transmit waves at different speeds, i.e. p-waves change speed as they move from the crust to the mantle and from the mantle to outer core

19 Wave Movement Through Homogeneous Earth

20 Movement through material of different density

21 Velocity and Amplitude Are a Function of the Material

22 Velocity Profile Through Earth

23 P-wave Shadow Zone Liquid causes p-waves to bend (refract)
Refraction of waves creates a zone where no p-waves are recorded (shadow zone) 103 to 143 degrees from focus

24 S-wave Shadow S-waves cannot pass through liquid
Waves refract at surface of outer core, creating a zone where no s-waves are recorded (shadow zone) 103 to 180 degrees from focus

25 Why did the 1895 EQ have a wider radius of influence?

26 Earthquake Prediction

27 Time Interval Analysis
Statistics is used to generate a “best-fit line” which can be used to predict the time of the next earthquake Not reliable This example has not occurred

28 Seismic Gap Look at the location of earthquakes
Areas (Gaps) where no earthquake has happened is an area of accumulating strain Gaps represent locations of future earthquakes

29 Seismic Gap Examples California Alaska

30 Environmental Impacts
Tsunami Giant tidal waves created by earthquakes Move at speeds between 500 and 950 km/hr (300 – 600 miles/hr) Waves reach height of over 30 meters (100ft)

31 Landslides and ground subsidence
Vibrations cause unstable material to slide down slopes Vibrations cause stable material to turn into fluid – liquefaction

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