The Earth is a planet that is rich in natural resources, animals, and human life forms. Even though the good is on one hand, sometimes bad happens naturally and man-made. In that order, an earthquake is a natural disaster that brings massive destruction to the land surface. This natural phenomenon is considered a more deadly disaster than anyone. Let’s see what an earthquake is and some facts about it.
Earth’s inner core
Our Earth was born by the cosmic explosion called the Big Bang. The Earth consists of many layers, like the crust, lithosphere, mantle, outer core, and inner core. These cores are the only things that stabilize the magnetic field. If the core is destroyed, the magnetic field will go off, and the atmosphere will be unprotected and bring destruction to the planet. The Earth’s crust and lithosphere are the layers of the land that people can access. But the layers are not like a ball that is a circle in shape with no gaps. The crust and lithosphere are the layers that are formed by pieces called tectonic plates. These tectonic plates constantly move around the earth’s surface slowly in a formation.
Damaged building after an Earthquake
This constant movement of tectonic plates creates more friction and pressure between the layers. This leads to the release of the trapped energy inside the core. This energy is called seismic waves. This creates a crack in the plates. This is called a “fault.” The breakage of the formation and the plates leads to the land shaking and the buildings within them trembling. This natural phenomenon is called an earthquake.
A picture of an antique seismometer
The starting point of the earthquake is called the epicenter. The epicenter is the place where we are able to feel the greatest impact of the earthquake. An earthquake can be sensed from a hundred to a thousand miles away from the epicenter. The device that is able to read and sense the seismic waves is called a seismometer. This device is able to read seismic wave patterns under the earth and make a note of them. The readings are similar to an ECG reading. A seismometer is able to detect seismic activity from a long distance, but it isn’t able to locate the direction of it.
An earthquake is not only the shaking of landforms. It also damages others within them. Let’s look at some of the facts about the earthquake.
- The NEIC records an average of 20,000 earthquakes per year around the world. But there are also millions of seismic events that are expected, but they are too weak to be noted in the big leagues.
- An earthquake in Japan with an 8.9 magnitude affected the earth’s mass and made the earth faster in its rotation. This reduces the daytime in Japan by 1.8 microseconds.
- Before an earthquake commences, the water bodies like ponds, canals, etc. give off a nasty smell. This is because the chemical release from the crust affects water and damages aquatic species.
- The building that represents history was built keeping earthquakes in mind. The method called “base isolation” is a method that counteracts earthquake vibrations and makes the buildings vibrationless. Through this monument, people can have a safe place in desperate times.
- Many buildings like Istanbul Airport, Transamerica Pyramid, Burj Khalifa, Taipei 101, Philippines Arena, and Inca architecture are built to withstand decent earthquakes.
- Earthquakes mostly occur in the Pacific Ocean. 90% of the world’s earthquakes occur here. This phenomenon gives the Pacific the name “Ring of Fire.”
- The earthquake in Nepal in 2015 brought heavy destruction to people and lands. By this measure, Everest has shrunk by an inch.
- Birds have been able to find earthquakes before because they are able to sense the magnetic fields.
- Earthquakes are the main reason for the tsunami.
These are some of the facts that earthquakes bring on for humankind. To escape from earthquakes, people should build safer places and should learn the skills to survive earthquakes.
Mukesh Kumar U M