What Triggers an Earthquake?

Most probably, you have already experienced an earthquake. These are naturally occurring movement or shocks that happen either below or on the earth’s crust. Depending on the magnitude and the location, it can cause enormous damage and leave destruction at its wake. As for earthquakes that take place in the ocean, it can send massive tsunamis to nearby coast that can wipe out an entire city.

Earthquakes are natural. If you are reading or hearing that it is linked to manmade activities similar to landslides due to extensive building work, shocks from nuclear testing or whatnot, it is all a misconception. There are two primary causes of earthquakes and two only, these are:

  1. Volcanic activity or faults that caused volcanic eruptions and;
  2. Tectonic activity that is caused by the movement of earth’s plate

Between the two, the latter is the more common occurrence. Though volcanic activity is also a contributor to earthquakes in several parts of the world.

Tectonic earthquake starts when there’s a movement in the tectonic plates. These plates are basically made of section of earth’s crust and it floats on the earth’s mantle. In most cases, these plates are moving slowly and they may slide either away or towards each other. At times, it can even slip past each other. On the other hand, it’s when these plates move too close to each other or collide that results an earthquake.

Uh…Oh Tectonic Plates Collision

When tectonic plates rubbed or collide against each other, the similar process occurs and this results in an earthquake. Volcanic earthquake on the other hand is created when volcanoes erupt, which could be a violent explosion; hence the name. In most cases, these types of earthquakes are going to affect an area of as far as 20 miles surrounding the volcano.

If a Volcano Erupts?

If a volcano contains acidic lava, then the probability of it to explode is higher. The lava spouted by the volcano will cool and set quickly as soon as it gets contact with air. When it happens, the volcano’s vent becomes blocked and the pressure builds up inside. In the long run, the pressure will gradually increase until it erupts. And when it does, an earthquake follows, depending on the intensity of the eruption.

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