Causes, Effects and Geographical Distribution of Earthquakes

Updated on February 7, 2019
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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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Source

Effects of Earthquakes

Earthquakes are less advantageous and more harmful to man. Damage done is chiefly in following respects:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Mud Fountains: On account of earthquakes of high intensity, warm water and mud fountains also burst.
  6. 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.

Source

Did You Know?

About 90% of the world's earthquakes and 81% of the world's largest earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Comments

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    • profile image

      OCHEN GODFREY 

      3 weeks ago

      Thank so much, it helped me a lot in understanding the causes, effects and distribution of earthquakes

    • profile image

      T-series 

      3 weeks ago

      sub to pewddiepie

    • profile image

      3 weeks ago

      cool

      hi

    • profile image

      jenny 

      8 weeks ago

      nice

    • profile image

      Guin has sri yuojs 

      2 months ago

      Good

    • profile image

      Reena 

      3 months ago

      It is good for students to understand betterly

    • profile image

      pratikshya poudel 

      3 months ago

      it helps me so much for understanding about causes and effects of earthquake.thank you .it is important for modern stage of students

    • profile image

      Hakuna hakuna 

      4 months ago

      Thank-you very much mam ...

      This page help me a lot ...for my geography project ....

    • profile image

      bireshwar barat 

      4 months ago

      it help me a lot thanks

    • profile image

      Paul 

      5 months ago

      It helpful thanks

    • profile image

      blessing maphosa 

      7 months ago

      its helpful and understanding.

    • profile image

      garvit 

      9 months ago

      very nice and helpful

    • profile image

      Komal makhare 

      9 months ago

      It was very nice and useful for me ..thanks mam

    • profile image

      isha 

      9 months ago

      I want also explanation of floods thanks it helps in project

    • profile image

      Achint 

      9 months ago

      Very helpful

      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

      Thanks

    • profile image

      Nishant 

      10 months ago

      Quite helpful for geography projects!

      very good

    • profile image

      Gargi 

      10 months ago

      Nice things for projects

    • profile image

      Aarya 

      10 months ago

      Very nice nd helpful points it helped a lot In my geography project Ty !

    • profile image

      Ayush Hudait 

      10 months ago

      It was very good

    • profile image

      Rashmi 

      10 months ago

      Maam this was very helpfull for my assignment thanks for this

    • profile image

      Sara 

      11 months ago

      Perfect fact

    • profile image

      aaryan 

      11 months ago

      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

    • profile image

      Vijay daa 

      12 months ago

      nice for student

    • profile image

      Tayong 

      13 months ago

      This is helpful too

    • profile image

      Kyle 

      13 months ago

      This was helpful for my school assignment.

    • profile image

      Pooja Gurjar 

      14 months ago

      I like very much and it helps me very much

    • varsha bang profile imageAUTHOR

      Varsha 

      15 months ago from India

      Thankyou

    • profile image

      Emilio 

      15 months ago

      I like this

    • profile image

      Sneha 

      15 months ago

      Thank you

    • varsha bang profile imageAUTHOR

      Varsha 

      17 months ago from India

      thankyou supriya

    • profile image

      supriya limboo 

      18 months ago

      Extremely fab collections about earthquake

    • varsha bang profile imageAUTHOR

      Varsha 

      19 months ago from India

      It's authentic Scarlet. Don't worry about it. I research a lot before writing any article.

    • profile image

      scarlet 

      19 months ago

      it is right? maybe because i`ll copy it even i dont know if it is right or wrong

    • varsha bang profile imageAUTHOR

      Varsha 

      21 months ago from India

      Thankyou so much for appreciating my work. Glad to hear that it was helpful.

    • profile image

      MH RUBEL 

      21 months ago

      not bad

    • profile image

      Anchal 

      21 months ago

      Very helpful

      Thanks a lot for yr support

    • profile image

      Sergeant Fluffles 

      22 months ago

      Earthquakes are DESTRUCTIVE things they are terrifying and unpredictable. You never know when an earthquake will strike so always be cautious.

    • profile image

      Kylie M. 

      23 months ago

      Good Job!!!

    • profile image

      Kylie 

      23 months ago

      These are cool causes and effects

    • profile image

      Yuktha K Iyer 

      2 years ago

      Good explanation !!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      yo!!! 

      2 years ago

      it's fine

    • profile image

      tanu 

      2 years ago

      Thanks it help in my assignment

    • profile image

      dumisile sibanda 

      2 years ago

      it was useful

    • profile image

      Dj Khaled 

      2 years ago

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      That is very not nice if it wasn't useful for you then get the f out of here. lol jk i don't care about your opinions.

      - Savage Khaled

    • profile image

      Dj Khaled 

      2 years ago

      lol dis is gud for mi and mi work.

      No seriously this helped me on my geography project.

      You smart, you loyal.

      - Dj Khaled

    • profile image

      frkjewkewkldekmrekmorekmoewmkodwmokdwmkdemefomerk 

      3 years ago

      not helpful at all

    • profile image

      fuckerface 

      3 years ago

      It's really informatic web were it shown an awesome idea or details.

    • profile image

      Ruheen 

      3 years ago

      It is good for information, homework's eve test's its fab!

    • profile image

      3 years ago

      verrrry useful for my project so,thanks. If u will add earthquake's planning,prepardness,mitigation and recovery means it will be verrrry....good.

    • profile image

      inayat ullah 

      3 years ago

      Very nice discribing.

    • profile image

      Subham 

      3 years ago

      To be honest, it was very useful

    • profile image

      adhvaid 

      3 years ago

      thanks.it helped me in my project

    • profile image

      Gurkirat saini 

      3 years ago

      Help in project

    • profile image

      princes 

      3 years ago

      it is help for me

    • profile image

      rockstar 

      3 years ago

      Its good help's in my homework

    • profile image

      Satyam 

      3 years ago

      Add Your Comment.. It is very helpful for me.

    • profile image

      Messi 

      3 years ago

      very good information

    • profile image

      roushan raza 

      3 years ago

      Its very good children are eork from this

    • profile image

      Mira 

      3 years ago

      It helped in the group work.... Thank u so much...

    • profile image

      manmeet 

      3 years ago

      Nice I used it for homework thanks for this webpage

    • profile image

      sounil 

      3 years ago

      thanks.i was looking for a perfect document and i got it......

    • profile image

      somebody 

      3 years ago

      i wanna write an essay, how should i write it

    • profile image

      JOANNA DAS 

      3 years ago

      ALL THESE EXPLAINATIONS HELPED IN PROJECT THNXSSSSSS

    • profile image

      Ruchi 

      3 years ago

      Not bad but it's good

    • profile image

      Aishu 

      4 years ago

      Nice and its more usefull so thankyou

    • profile image

      sai sruthi 

      4 years ago

      Awesome and good explaintion

    • profile image

      Anirban Sarkar 

      4 years ago

      Thanks for helping me in my project by giving all the details of causes, effects and distribution briefly.

    • profile image

      Nimwell King Kwofie, Ghana 

      4 years ago

      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.

      thanks

    • profile image

      lekha 

      4 years ago

      Thanks

    • profile image

      zero nuni 

      4 years ago

      Good

    • profile image

      cece 

      4 years ago

      dis is good

    • profile image

      anita khan 

      4 years ago

      thanks for the help

    • profile image

      sphEsh.kunGwayo 

      4 years ago

      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

    • profile image

      Aditya Singh 

      4 years ago

      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.

    • profile image

      Web surfer 

      4 years ago

      This document lacked in information about when It was written and published.

    • profile image

      Janae 

      4 years ago

      If y'all have earth quakes be ok

    • profile image

      adriana 

      4 years ago

      Okay

    • profile image

      Apples 

      5 years ago

      You give a very strong argument, but I still think not

    • profile image

      shabeera sharif. 

      5 years ago

      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.

      thankyou.

    • profile image

      vishal singh 

      5 years ago

      It is very important to know about Earthquake because when they come they create so problems .and this webpage helps us to know about about earthquake.very useful webpage

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