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Earthquake Definition

An earthquake is a sudden, violent shaking of the ground caused by movement of plates in the earth's crust. For example, earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis are all natural disasters.

View Lesson on Natural Disasters
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Natural Disasters

Fun Facts

  • Earthquakes tend to form along plate boundaries, just like volcanoes, but they can also occur in other locations.
  • Buildings closer to the ground experience less destruction during earthquakes.
  • Tsunamis are huge waves often caused by underwater earthquakes.

Why Do We Need To Know About Earthquake

Studying earthquakes helps us see how important engineers are in keeping us safe. They use math and science to make buildings strong enough to stand up to earthquakes, protecting people and places.

Learning about this shows why building things to resist earthquakes matters and can lead to jobs in engineering, planning cities, and managing disasters. Knowing about earthquakes helps us come up with new ways to reduce their damage, showing why it’s useful to learn about them.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are the formation of earthquakes and volcanoes similar?
Both earthquakes and volcanoes form along plate boundaries. An earthquake is caused by sudden movements in the plates that make up Earth’s crust. Also, at these areas where the plates meet is the ideal place for molten rock to flow the surface and form a volcano!
What are humans doing to help reduce the impact of natural disasters?
They are designing and constructing buildings that can withstand things like earthquakes. They are also testing the best types of materials that can be used to build houses near volcanoes.
Can you think of one constraint or factor that engineers must take into account when designing buildings in areas with a lot of earthquakes?
One important consideration is the height of the building. When a building is very tall and heavy it can crumble or topple over. A building that is closer to the ground can better withstand the shaking.
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