Earthquakes, even though sounds common, it is one of the most destructive natural disasters. Every other day we hear a piece of news about earthquakes. However, what exactly are earthquakes and how do they take place? Earthquakes occur due to the shaking of the surface of the Earth resulting from a sudden release of energy in the Earth’s lithosphere that creates waves known as seismic waves.
The earth has four main layers, namely, the crust, mantle, liquid core, and solid core. The crust is made up of tectonic plates that keep floating in the liquid mantle at a speed of a centimeter per year. It’s that movement which is the reason behind severe earthquakes in New Zealand, Japan, Indonesia, the Alaskan Peninsula and other northern regions of the Pacific Rim.
“When compared to the other natural disasters, earthquakes are the most unpredictable ones,” said Jennifer Cole an Environmental and Earth Science professor at Northern University. Even though it can be traced but the occurrence of earthquakes comes with no warnings. The Seismograph is used to track the movements of the plates that create a wave-like drawing every second, which denotes the speed of the tectonic plates.
Methods to track the location:
P and S waves are used to denote the intensity of the earthquake. P waves come as the first shake we feel, the major one. S waves are felt after P waves. P waves are faster as compared to S waves. The waves formed by the seismograph leave a distance between P and S waves that are used by scientists to measure the distance of the location of the earthquake from the point where the seismograph is kept. However, this method cannot tell the exact location of the earthquake, so another method called triangulation is used.
Earthquakes have many after effects which include tsunami, volcanic eruption, avalanche, landslides, etc. The sudden changes in the climate can also be seen. Human life is impacted to a large extent due to the earthquakes.
Earthquakes are very common but when taken preventive measures the effects can be minimised. Many articles have been published about the studies of earthquakes where they have emphasized the unpredictability of the occurrence of earthquakes that makes them even more deadly. We sincerely hope that measures can be taken to save human lives through effective planning and control methods, even when it is nearly impossible to know it will happen.