I have learned that earthquakes occur around fault lines when plate boundaries shift due to too much pressure between them. The underground origin of the earthquake is called the focus and the point where the earthquake meets on the surface is called the epicenter. There are about 50 earthquakes that occur each day. Scientists measure the shockwaves from an earthquake with the Richter scale. The scale measurement is from 1.0 to 10.0.
Earthquakes are very hard to predict. Each day scientists are trying to come up with better ways to predict them. They can’t pinpoint the exact day a big earthquake will occur, but they can speculate that one will occur within several decades or so based on previous earthquakes and pressure building along the fault lines. Scientists also use seismic hazard maps to predict where an earthquake may occur. A seismic hazard map is a map that scientists use to show what regions are likely or not likely to have an earthquake.
Most big earthquakes occur around plate boundaries. These plate boundaries are located at the end of a continent or in the ocean. A big spot is around the Indonesia region because in the Indian Ocean there are many volcanoes called the ring of fire. When the volcanoes erupt, they can contribute toward an earthquake occurrence.