Varsha is an enthusiast writer who loves to share informational content. She mostly writes about geographical phenomena.
Causes of Earthquakes
Earthquakes are caused by disturbances in the interior of the earth and other causes.
- Tectonic Movements: The disturbances inside the earth are called tectonic movements. These forces bring about changes on the earth surface and physical features like mountains, plateaus and rift valleys are formed. Most disastrous earthquakes are caused by tectonic forces. Tectonic forces create tension and pressure and the stress begins to build up inside the earth. When the stress tends to be more than what the rocks of the earth can bear, the rocks are broken and displaced from their state of equilibrium. It is known as faulting. The energy accumulated during faulting is released. This release of energy gives rise to mighty waves. These waves originate from a point called Focus in the interior of the earth and then spread out in all directions. On the surface whatever comes into their contact begins to vibrate. The chief cause of earthquakes felt often in California in the USA is often the San Andreas Fault found there.
- Volcanic Eruptions: The volcanic eruptions are often very violent and cause vibrations in the earth crust. Sometimes the vent of a volcano is blocked temporarily and explosive eruption takes place suddenly causing tremors in the earth crust. The Krakatoa that erupted in 1883 became the cause of a violent earthquake there.
- Other Reasons: The roofs of underground caves sometimes give way and release great force to cause minor tremors in the earth crust. Nuclear explosions also release massive energy to cause tremors in the earth crust.
Effects of Earthquakes
Earthquakes are less advantageous and more harmful to man. Damage done is chiefly in following respects:
- Loss of Property: Severe earthquakes reduce to rubble human structures ranging from huts to palaces and single storey to multi storey buildings. Even pipelines laid under the ground and railway lines are damaged or displaced. The best example of this type of damage is Koyana earthquake in 1970.
- Loss of Life: Earthquake tremors of a few seconds takes the lives of thousands of people. Many people have been rendered homeless or suffered injuries in various ways.
- Changes in the course of rivers: On account of the impact of earthquakes, sometimes rivers also change their course. Consequently, when floods come they play havoc with people's lives.
- Tsunamis: The earthquakes in the sea generate massive waves called Tsunami in Japanese language. It sometimes rises to the height of 20-25 metres. It causes great damage to life and property of people living in coastal areas as well as to tourists. Tsunami caused by an earthquake in the sea near Sumatra on 26th Dec, 2004 hit southeast Asian countries including India and Sri Lanka. There was heavy damage in these countries. More than 3 lakh people died.
- Mud Fountains: On account of earthquakes of high intensity, warm water and mud fountains also burst.
- Cracks in Earth Crust: Earthquake cause cracks in earth's crust anywhere in fields, roads, parks and even hills. They are thus rendered useless. The San Andreas fault in California, U.S.A. was created in a similar manner.
Geographical Distribution of Earthquakes
It is true that the earthquakes can happen in any part of the world. But in the areas of faulting and folding or of crustal weakness, the frequency of earthquakes is more than anywhere else. The earthquakes are concentrated in two main belts.
- Circum-Pacific Earthquake Belt: This belt includes all the coastal areas around the vast pacific ocean. This belt extends as an isostatically sensitive zone through the coasts of Alaska, Aleutian Islands, Japan, Philippines, New Zealand, North and South America. This zone accounts for 68% of all earthquakes on the surface of the earth. The most talked about earthquake areas in this zone include Japan, Chile, California and Mexico.
- Mediterranean-Asia Earthquake Belt: This belt begins from Alps mountain range and passes through Turkey, Caucasus Range, Iran, Iraq, Himalayan mountains and Tibet to China. One of its branches passes through Mongolia and Lake Baikal and another branch extends to Myanmar. About 31% of world's earthquakes are located in this region.
- Other Areas: These include Northern Africa and Rift Valley areas of the Red Sea and the Dead Sea. In addition to these, the ocean ridges are also active earthquake zones.
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Tanushree Chatterjee on November 15, 2019:
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Harpreet Singh on June 18, 2019:
It is verrry useful for everyone if want to study in detail
Soumili Harchowdhury on June 13, 2019:
Drishti Gupta on June 10, 2019:
Thank You so much
Shrajit on June 09, 2019:
Its usefull but not that much there are four distributions if yes reply
SAMARAH ARISHA HUSSAIN on June 08, 2019:
Thx it helped me a lot. you go girl
robespeire on May 28, 2019:
Rounak on May 28, 2019:
Thnx it helped me a lot.
ANI on May 26, 2019:
IT HELPED ME A LOT!
Shanzay on May 24, 2019:
Plz provide me folding and faulting notes
Ram on May 21, 2019:
Wasifa Shad on May 19, 2019:
Thnx a lot!
OCHEN GODFREY on February 23, 2019:
Thank so much, it helped me a lot in understanding the causes, effects and distribution of earthquakes
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Reena on December 06, 2018:
It is good for students to understand betterly
pratikshya poudel on November 21, 2018:
it helps me so much for understanding about causes and effects of earthquake.thank you .it is important for modern stage of students
Hakuna hakuna on November 06, 2018:
Thank-you very much mam ...
This page help me a lot ...for my geography project ....
bireshwar barat on October 25, 2018:
it help me a lot thanks
Paul on September 23, 2018:
It helpful thanks
blessing maphosa on August 15, 2018:
its helpful and understanding.
garvit on June 16, 2018:
very nice and helpful
Komal makhare on June 10, 2018:
It was very nice and useful for me ..thanks mam
isha on June 08, 2018:
I want also explanation of floods thanks it helps in project
Achint on May 29, 2018:
Covered all the points I
I didn't have to open different websites to find causes
Helped me a lot in my geography n science project
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Ayush Hudait on May 16, 2018:
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Rashmi on May 11, 2018:
Maam this was very helpfull for my assignment thanks for this
Sara on April 11, 2018:
aaryan on April 10, 2018:
i think the distribution of earthquakes is into 4.according to spacial distribution earthquake regions are circum pacific belt,midatlantic belt,midcontinental belt and interplate seismicity.if i am right post a reply varsha
Vijay daa on March 20, 2018:
nice for student
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This is helpful too
Kyle on January 31, 2018:
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Varsha (author) from India on December 17, 2017:
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Sneha on December 16, 2017:
Varsha (author) from India on September 27, 2017:
supriya limboo on September 16, 2017:
Extremely fab collections about earthquake
Varsha (author) from India on August 16, 2017:
It's authentic Scarlet. Don't worry about it. I research a lot before writing any article.
scarlet on August 16, 2017:
it is right? maybe because i`ll copy it even i dont know if it is right or wrong
Varsha (author) from India on June 24, 2017:
Thankyou so much for appreciating my work. Glad to hear that it was helpful.
MH RUBEL on June 02, 2017:
Anchal on May 29, 2017:
Thanks a lot for yr support
Sergeant Fluffles on May 08, 2017:
Earthquakes are DESTRUCTIVE things they are terrifying and unpredictable. You never know when an earthquake will strike so always be cautious.
Kylie M. on April 24, 2017:
Kylie on April 24, 2017:
These are cool causes and effects
Yuktha K Iyer on January 21, 2017:
Good explanation !!!!!!!!!!!!
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T on October 21, 2015:
verrrry useful for my project so,thanks. If u will add earthquake's planning,prepardness,mitigation and recovery means it will be verrrry....good.
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Awesome and good explaintion
Anirban Sarkar on January 12, 2015:
Thanks for helping me in my project by giving all the details of causes, effects and distribution briefly.
Nimwell King Kwofie, Ghana on November 23, 2014:
Not bad at all but the distribution should have mentioned more towns and countries with their intensities and not just the zone and few cities and countries.
lekha on November 13, 2014:
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sphEsh.kunGwayo on September 17, 2014:
earthquake is a hOrribLe disaster n as i reaD moRe abOut iT i thInK its epResivE oF what oUr
desIgners 4KiT 4 earthquake safefty dwn 4us keeP up thE gOod work
Aditya Singh on July 24, 2014:
It was good I used it for homework but it would be more nice if you give more points to causes of earthquake overall it was good.
Web surfer on April 24, 2014:
This document lacked in information about when It was written and published.
Janae on April 09, 2014:
If y'all have earth quakes be ok
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Apples on February 26, 2014:
You give a very strong argument, but I still think not
shabeera sharif. on January 11, 2014:
it's very useful to all of us. Whenwe were in the trouble that of earthquake to escape from it we should have like this of a information.