Behind the destruction of massive earthquakes that happened in the history, there is a truthful reality that those who died could have been saved. Believe it or not, there are important facts that only few people already know about fault lines and earthquakes. With that, let me discuss some interesting facts for you to understand fault lines and earthquakes easily.
But before we proceed to the facts, let us discuss first what are these two topics we will talk about.
Talking about earthquakes, faults are the existing cracks in Earth’s crust where rocks on either side of the crack have slid past other. There are three types of faults.
First is the normal fault which pulls apart two blocks of crust, stretching it into a valley.
Next is the reverse fault where one block of crust slide on top of another.
And lastly is the strike-slip fault where in the rocks are sliding past each other horizontally, with little to no vertical movement.
While earthquakes are the shaking of the ground caused by the vibrations from breaking rocks under stress that happens when two large blocks of tectonic plates, the earth’s out most rocky crust, suddenly slip past one another. Eventually these movements builds up weakness points and deformation of rocks.
Now that we have known the meanings of fault lines and earthquakes, we already gathered some backgrounds about our major topics. Now, let us proceed to the interesting facts to know more!
Fact #1: Earthquake vibrations travel very fast.
The fastest seismic waves take less than 20 minutes to reach the other side of the earth, a distance of almost 13,000 kilometers!
Fact #2: There are estimated 500,000 detectable earthquakes in the world each year!
In this estimation, 100,000 of those earthquakes that happen yearly can be felt, 100 of them can cause damage and the remaining numbers are too weak to be felt.
Fact #3: Aside from shaking, earthquakes may also initiate other natural and/or man-made disasters.
Earthquakes may trigger disasters that can cause casualties. For example, in mountainous areas, earthquakes may trigger landslides; In oceans or seas, it can cause tsunami; may also cause liquefaction causing wet sediments to become quicksand and flow; and lastly, it may initiate man-made disasters like fire and nuclear explosion caused by downed power lines, damaged power plants and ruptured gas mains.
Fact #4: There is no such thing as “earthquake weather”.
There is an equal distribution of earthquakes in cold, hot, rainy and other types of weather.
Fact #5: San Andreas Fault Zone has the average rate of motion of about the same rate fingernails grow!
In the past 3 million years moved at the average of 56 millimeter per year. Projects that in approximately 15 million years, Los Angeles and San Francisco will be adjacent to one another.
And that’s the 5 interesting facts for you!
References: Featured photo from http://www.ecuadorreview.com What is an Earthquake? (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.ga.gov.au/scientific-topics /hazards/earthquake/basics/what What is an Earthquake? (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.vtaide.com/png/George/ earthquake.htm What is an Earthquake? (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.bgs.ac.uk/discoveringGeology /hazards/earthquakes/whatIs.html What is an Earthquake? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/kids/ eqscience.php Earthquake Facts (n.d.). Retrieved from https://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/facts.php Oskin, B. (2014). Fault Lines: Facts About Cracks in the Earth. Retrieved from http://www.livescience.com/37052-types-of-faults.html