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Earthquakes and
Earth’s Interior
Earthquakes
8.1 What Is an Earthquake?
• Focus is the point within Earth where the
earthquake starts.
• Epicenter is the location on the surface
directly above the focus.
 An earthquake is the vibration of Earth
produced by the rapid release of energy
 Focus and Epicenter
• Faults are fractures in Earth where movement
has occurred.
 Faults
Focus, Epicenter, and Fault
Slippage Along a Fault
Cause of Earthquakes
8.1 What Is an Earthquake?
 Elastic Rebound Hypothesis
• Most earthquakes are produced by the rapid
release of elastic energy stored in rock that has
been subjected to great forces.
• When the strength of the rock is exceeded, it
suddenly breaks, causing the vibrations of an
earthquake.
Elastic Rebound Hypothesis
Cause of Earthquakes
8.1 What Is an Earthquake?
• An aftershock is a small earthquake that
follows the main earthquake.
• A foreshock is a small earthquake that often
precedes a major earthquake.
 Aftershocks and Foreshocks
Earthquake Waves
8.2 Measuring Earthquakes
 Seismographs are instruments that
record earthquake waves.
 Surface waves are seismic waves that
travel along Earth’s outer layer.
 Seismograms are traces of amplified,
electronically recorded ground motion
made by seismographs.
Seismograph
Seismogram
Earthquake Waves
8.2 Measuring Earthquakes
 Body Waves
• P waves
• Identified as P waves or S waves
- Have the greatest velocity of all
earthquake waves
- Are push-pull waves that push (compress)
and pull (expand) in the direction that the
waves travel
- Travel through solids, liquids, and gases
Earthquake Waves
8.2 Measuring Earthquakes
 Body Waves
• S waves
- Seismic waves that travel along Earth’s outer
layer
- Slower velocity than P waves
- Shake particles at right angles to the direction
that they travel
- Travel only through solids
 A seismogram shows all three types of
seismic waves—surface waves, P
waves, and S waves.
Seismic Waves
Locating an Earthquake
8.2 Measuring Earthquakes
 Earthquake Distance
• Travel-time graphs from three or more
seismographs can be used to find the exact
location of an earthquake epicenter.
• The epicenter is located using the difference
in the arrival times between P and S wave
recordings, which are related to distance.
• About 95 percent of the major earthquakes
occur in a few narrow zones.
 Earthquake Direction
 Earthquake Zones
Locating an Earthquake
Measuring Earthquakes
8.2 Measuring Earthquakes
 Historically, scientists have used two
different types of measurements to
describe the size of an earthquake
—intensity and magnitude.
 Richter Scale
• Does not estimate adequately the size of
very large earthquakes
• Based on the amplitude of the largest seismic
wave
• Each unit of Richter magnitude equates to
roughly a 32-fold energy increase
Measuring Earthquakes
8.2 Measuring Earthquakes
 Momentum Magnitude
• Derived from the amount of displacement
that occurs along the fault zone
• Moment magnitude is the most widely used
measurement for earthquakes because it is the
only magnitude scale that estimates the energy
released by earthquakes.
• Measures very large earthquakes
Earthquake Magnitudes
Some Notable Earthquakes
Seismic Vibrations
8.3 Destruction from Earthquakes
 The damage to buildings and other
structures from earthquake waves depends
on several factors. These factors include
the intensity and duration of the vibrations,
the nature of the material on which the
structure is built, and the design of the
structure.
Earthquake Damage
Seismic Vibrations
8.3 Destruction from Earthquakes
 Building Design
- The design of the structure
- Unreinforced stone or brick buildings are
the most serious safety threats
- Nature of the material upon which the
structure rests
• Factors that determine structural damage
- Intensity of the earthquake
Seismic Vibrations
8.3 Destruction from Earthquakes
 Liquefaction
• Saturated material turns fluid
• Underground objects may float to surface
Effects of Subsidence Due to
Liquefaction
Tsunamis
8.3 Destruction from Earthquakes
 Cause of Tsunamis
• A tsunami triggered by an earthquake occurs
where a slab of the ocean floor is displaced
vertically along a fault.
• A tsunami also can occur when the vibration of a
quake sets an underwater landslide into motion.
• Tsunami is the Japanese word for “seismic sea
wave.”
Movement of a Tsunami
Tsunamis
8.3 Destruction from Earthquakes
• Large earthquakes are reported to Hawaii from
Pacific seismic stations.
 Tsunami Warning System
• Although tsunamis travel quickly, there is
sufficient time to evacuate all but the area
closest to the epicenter.
Other Dangers
8.3 Destruction from Earthquakes
• With many earthquakes, the greatest damage
to structures is from landslides and ground
subsidence, or the sinking of the ground
triggered by vibrations.
 Landslides
• In the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, most
of the destruction was caused by fires that
started when gas and electrical lines were cut.
 Fire
Landslide Damage
Predicting Earthquakes
8.3 Destruction from Earthquakes
• So far, methods for short-range predictions of
earthquakes have not been successful.
 Short-Range Predictions
• Scientists don’t yet understand enough about
how and where earthquakes will occur to make
accurate long-term predictions.
 Long-Range Forecasts
• A seismic gap is an area along a fault where
there has not been any earthquake activity for a
long period of time.
Layers Defined by Composition
8.4 Earth’s Layered Structure
 Earth’s interior consists of three major
zones defined by their chemical
composition—the crust, mantle, and core.
• Thin, rocky outer layer
 Crust
• Varies in thickness
- Roughly 7 km in oceanic regions
- Continental crust averages 8–40 km
- Exceeds 70 km in mountainous regions
Seismic Waves Paths Through the Earth
Layers Defined by Composition
8.4 Earth’s Layered Structure
 Crust
• Continental crust
- Upper crust composed of granitic rocks
- Lower crust is more akin to basalt
- Average density is about 2.7 g/cm3
- Up to 4 billion years old
Layers Defined by Composition
8.4 Earth’s Layered Structure
 Crust
• Oceanic crust
- Basaltic composition
- Density about 3.0 g/cm3
- Younger (180 million years or less) than the
continental crust
Layers Defined by Composition
8.4 Earth’s Layered Structure
 Mantle
• Below crust to a depth of 2900 kilometers
• Composition of the uppermost mantle is the
igneous rock peridotite (changes at greater
depths).
Layers Defined by Composition
8.4 Earth’s Layered Structure
 Core
• Below mantle
• Sphere with a radius of 3486 kilometers
• Composed of an iron-nickel alloy
• Average density of nearly 11 g/cm3
Layers Defined by Physical Properties
8.4 Earth’s Layered Structure
 Lithosphere
• Crust and uppermost mantle (about 100 km thick)
• Cool, rigid, solid
 Asthenosphere
• Beneath the lithosphere
• Upper mantle
• To a depth of about 660 kilometers
• Soft, weak layer that is easily deformed
Layers Defined by Physical Properties
8.4 Earth’s Layered Structure
 Lower Mantle
• 660–2900 km
• More rigid layer
• Rocks are very hot and capable of gradual flow.
Layers Defined by Physical Properties
8.4 Earth’s Layered Structure
 Inner Core
• Sphere with a radius of 1216 km
• Behaves like a solid
 Outer Core
• Liquid layer
• 2270 km thick
• Convective flow of metallic iron within generates
Earth’s magnetic field
Earth’s Layered Structure
Discovering Earth’s Layers
8.4 Earth’s Layered Structure
• Velocity of seismic waves increases abruptly below
50 km of depth
• Separates crust from underlying mantle
 Shadow Zone
• Absence of P waves from about 105 degrees to
140 degrees around the globe from an earthquake
• Can be explained if Earth contains a core
composed of materials unlike the overlying mantle
 Moho ˇ ´
Earth’s Interior Showing
P and S Wave Paths
Discovering Earth’s Composition
8.4 Earth’s Layered Structure
 Mantle
 Crust
• Early seismic data and drilling technology
indicate that the continental crust is mostly made
of lighter, granitic rocks.
• Composition is more speculative.
• Some of the lava that reaches Earth’s surface
comes from asthenosphere within.
Discovering Earth’s Composition
8.4 Earth’s Layered Structure
 Core
• Earth’s core is thought to be mainly dense iron
and nickel, similar to metallic meteorites. The
surrounding mantle is believed to be composed
of rocks similar to stony meteorites.

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Earthquakes and Earth’s Interior

  • 2. Earthquakes 8.1 What Is an Earthquake? • Focus is the point within Earth where the earthquake starts. • Epicenter is the location on the surface directly above the focus.  An earthquake is the vibration of Earth produced by the rapid release of energy  Focus and Epicenter • Faults are fractures in Earth where movement has occurred.  Faults
  • 5. Cause of Earthquakes 8.1 What Is an Earthquake?  Elastic Rebound Hypothesis • Most earthquakes are produced by the rapid release of elastic energy stored in rock that has been subjected to great forces. • When the strength of the rock is exceeded, it suddenly breaks, causing the vibrations of an earthquake.
  • 7. Cause of Earthquakes 8.1 What Is an Earthquake? • An aftershock is a small earthquake that follows the main earthquake. • A foreshock is a small earthquake that often precedes a major earthquake.  Aftershocks and Foreshocks
  • 8. Earthquake Waves 8.2 Measuring Earthquakes  Seismographs are instruments that record earthquake waves.  Surface waves are seismic waves that travel along Earth’s outer layer.  Seismograms are traces of amplified, electronically recorded ground motion made by seismographs.
  • 11. Earthquake Waves 8.2 Measuring Earthquakes  Body Waves • P waves • Identified as P waves or S waves - Have the greatest velocity of all earthquake waves - Are push-pull waves that push (compress) and pull (expand) in the direction that the waves travel - Travel through solids, liquids, and gases
  • 12. Earthquake Waves 8.2 Measuring Earthquakes  Body Waves • S waves - Seismic waves that travel along Earth’s outer layer - Slower velocity than P waves - Shake particles at right angles to the direction that they travel - Travel only through solids  A seismogram shows all three types of seismic waves—surface waves, P waves, and S waves.
  • 14. Locating an Earthquake 8.2 Measuring Earthquakes  Earthquake Distance • Travel-time graphs from three or more seismographs can be used to find the exact location of an earthquake epicenter. • The epicenter is located using the difference in the arrival times between P and S wave recordings, which are related to distance. • About 95 percent of the major earthquakes occur in a few narrow zones.  Earthquake Direction  Earthquake Zones
  • 16. Measuring Earthquakes 8.2 Measuring Earthquakes  Historically, scientists have used two different types of measurements to describe the size of an earthquake —intensity and magnitude.  Richter Scale • Does not estimate adequately the size of very large earthquakes • Based on the amplitude of the largest seismic wave • Each unit of Richter magnitude equates to roughly a 32-fold energy increase
  • 17. Measuring Earthquakes 8.2 Measuring Earthquakes  Momentum Magnitude • Derived from the amount of displacement that occurs along the fault zone • Moment magnitude is the most widely used measurement for earthquakes because it is the only magnitude scale that estimates the energy released by earthquakes. • Measures very large earthquakes
  • 20. Seismic Vibrations 8.3 Destruction from Earthquakes  The damage to buildings and other structures from earthquake waves depends on several factors. These factors include the intensity and duration of the vibrations, the nature of the material on which the structure is built, and the design of the structure.
  • 22. Seismic Vibrations 8.3 Destruction from Earthquakes  Building Design - The design of the structure - Unreinforced stone or brick buildings are the most serious safety threats - Nature of the material upon which the structure rests • Factors that determine structural damage - Intensity of the earthquake
  • 23. Seismic Vibrations 8.3 Destruction from Earthquakes  Liquefaction • Saturated material turns fluid • Underground objects may float to surface
  • 24. Effects of Subsidence Due to Liquefaction
  • 25. Tsunamis 8.3 Destruction from Earthquakes  Cause of Tsunamis • A tsunami triggered by an earthquake occurs where a slab of the ocean floor is displaced vertically along a fault. • A tsunami also can occur when the vibration of a quake sets an underwater landslide into motion. • Tsunami is the Japanese word for “seismic sea wave.”
  • 26. Movement of a Tsunami
  • 27. Tsunamis 8.3 Destruction from Earthquakes • Large earthquakes are reported to Hawaii from Pacific seismic stations.  Tsunami Warning System • Although tsunamis travel quickly, there is sufficient time to evacuate all but the area closest to the epicenter.
  • 28. Other Dangers 8.3 Destruction from Earthquakes • With many earthquakes, the greatest damage to structures is from landslides and ground subsidence, or the sinking of the ground triggered by vibrations.  Landslides • In the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, most of the destruction was caused by fires that started when gas and electrical lines were cut.  Fire
  • 30. Predicting Earthquakes 8.3 Destruction from Earthquakes • So far, methods for short-range predictions of earthquakes have not been successful.  Short-Range Predictions • Scientists don’t yet understand enough about how and where earthquakes will occur to make accurate long-term predictions.  Long-Range Forecasts • A seismic gap is an area along a fault where there has not been any earthquake activity for a long period of time.
  • 31. Layers Defined by Composition 8.4 Earth’s Layered Structure  Earth’s interior consists of three major zones defined by their chemical composition—the crust, mantle, and core. • Thin, rocky outer layer  Crust • Varies in thickness - Roughly 7 km in oceanic regions - Continental crust averages 8–40 km - Exceeds 70 km in mountainous regions
  • 32. Seismic Waves Paths Through the Earth
  • 33. Layers Defined by Composition 8.4 Earth’s Layered Structure  Crust • Continental crust - Upper crust composed of granitic rocks - Lower crust is more akin to basalt - Average density is about 2.7 g/cm3 - Up to 4 billion years old
  • 34. Layers Defined by Composition 8.4 Earth’s Layered Structure  Crust • Oceanic crust - Basaltic composition - Density about 3.0 g/cm3 - Younger (180 million years or less) than the continental crust
  • 35. Layers Defined by Composition 8.4 Earth’s Layered Structure  Mantle • Below crust to a depth of 2900 kilometers • Composition of the uppermost mantle is the igneous rock peridotite (changes at greater depths).
  • 36. Layers Defined by Composition 8.4 Earth’s Layered Structure  Core • Below mantle • Sphere with a radius of 3486 kilometers • Composed of an iron-nickel alloy • Average density of nearly 11 g/cm3
  • 37. Layers Defined by Physical Properties 8.4 Earth’s Layered Structure  Lithosphere • Crust and uppermost mantle (about 100 km thick) • Cool, rigid, solid  Asthenosphere • Beneath the lithosphere • Upper mantle • To a depth of about 660 kilometers • Soft, weak layer that is easily deformed
  • 38. Layers Defined by Physical Properties 8.4 Earth’s Layered Structure  Lower Mantle • 660–2900 km • More rigid layer • Rocks are very hot and capable of gradual flow.
  • 39. Layers Defined by Physical Properties 8.4 Earth’s Layered Structure  Inner Core • Sphere with a radius of 1216 km • Behaves like a solid  Outer Core • Liquid layer • 2270 km thick • Convective flow of metallic iron within generates Earth’s magnetic field
  • 41. Discovering Earth’s Layers 8.4 Earth’s Layered Structure • Velocity of seismic waves increases abruptly below 50 km of depth • Separates crust from underlying mantle  Shadow Zone • Absence of P waves from about 105 degrees to 140 degrees around the globe from an earthquake • Can be explained if Earth contains a core composed of materials unlike the overlying mantle  Moho ˇ ´
  • 42. Earth’s Interior Showing P and S Wave Paths
  • 43. Discovering Earth’s Composition 8.4 Earth’s Layered Structure  Mantle  Crust • Early seismic data and drilling technology indicate that the continental crust is mostly made of lighter, granitic rocks. • Composition is more speculative. • Some of the lava that reaches Earth’s surface comes from asthenosphere within.
  • 44. Discovering Earth’s Composition 8.4 Earth’s Layered Structure  Core • Earth’s core is thought to be mainly dense iron and nickel, similar to metallic meteorites. The surrounding mantle is believed to be composed of rocks similar to stony meteorites.