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Types and causes of
earthquakes
Praag Dogra
Types of earthquake waves
• Body waves:
• P-waves
• S-waves
• Surface waves:
• Love waves
• Rayleigh waves
P-waves
• These are the Primary waves
• They travel solely in the direction of propagation
• They travel at about 6-8 km per second
• They have a ‘back and forth’ compression and rapid extension
motion
• They can travel through liquids, but get refracted
S-waves
• These are the Secondary waves
• They move in a ‘side to side’ transverse motion to the direction of
propagation
• They cannot travel through liquids
• P-waves turn into S-waves in the inner core, then back into P-
waves from the outer core and beyond
Love waves
• Cause circular sheering of the ground
• Have the largest amplitude
• They shift the ground from left to right in a transverse motion
causing horizontal shifting of the ground
• They are the most damaging to buildings and are the most easily
felt by humans
Rayleigh waves
• These travel in a rippling motion
• They can travel at almost 90% of the velocity of S-waves
• Very damaging to buildings
• Not as fast as Love waves
Causes of earthquakes
• Tectonic stresses
• Volcanic activity
• Manmade causes
• Other natural processes
Tectonic activity
• Stresses are caused by convection currents in the asthenosphere
• Diverging convection currents in the asthenosphere caused by tensional
forces in rifts (normal faults)
• Converging convection currents in the asthenosphere – Sima to Sima
(Oceanic to Oceanic plates)
• Creating 9.0 earthquakes on the Richter scale
• Convection currents in the asthenosphere – Sial to Sial (continental to
continental plate) compressions
• Strike slip faults with two convection currents moving in opposite direction,
or same, but different speeds
Volcanic Activity
• Magma snaps rocks above it as it upwells
• Magma moving up over a long period of time causes harmonic
tremors
• Volcanic Caldera collapses from a Caldera fault
Manmade causes
• Fracking- high pressure jets of water and sand – Blackpool piloting
created a 2.8 earthquake on the Richter scale
• Reservoirs- Sichuan province in China created a 7.8 earthquake on
the Richter scale
• Killed 69,000 people by accelerating the time between tectonic events
• Atom bomb testing
• Waste water underground… lubricates faultlines: USA (Rocky
Mountain Arsenal)
• Open cast mining (quarry) causes earthquakes through re-bounding
Other Natural processes
• Isostatic rebound
• Hebrides in Scotland has up to 2.8 Richter scale earthquakes
• Perigian spring tides- moon periodically moves closer to the earth
• Causes a greater gravitational pull
• This increases the sea level
• Creating thrust faults over trenches with more pressure
• Taiwan 1990-1999 experiences 21 7.0 Richter scale earthquakes all within 48
hours of a perigian spring tide

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Types and causes of earthquakes

  • 1. Types and causes of earthquakes Praag Dogra
  • 2. Types of earthquake waves • Body waves: • P-waves • S-waves • Surface waves: • Love waves • Rayleigh waves
  • 3. P-waves • These are the Primary waves • They travel solely in the direction of propagation • They travel at about 6-8 km per second • They have a ‘back and forth’ compression and rapid extension motion • They can travel through liquids, but get refracted
  • 4. S-waves • These are the Secondary waves • They move in a ‘side to side’ transverse motion to the direction of propagation • They cannot travel through liquids • P-waves turn into S-waves in the inner core, then back into P- waves from the outer core and beyond
  • 5. Love waves • Cause circular sheering of the ground • Have the largest amplitude • They shift the ground from left to right in a transverse motion causing horizontal shifting of the ground • They are the most damaging to buildings and are the most easily felt by humans
  • 6. Rayleigh waves • These travel in a rippling motion • They can travel at almost 90% of the velocity of S-waves • Very damaging to buildings • Not as fast as Love waves
  • 7. Causes of earthquakes • Tectonic stresses • Volcanic activity • Manmade causes • Other natural processes
  • 8. Tectonic activity • Stresses are caused by convection currents in the asthenosphere • Diverging convection currents in the asthenosphere caused by tensional forces in rifts (normal faults) • Converging convection currents in the asthenosphere – Sima to Sima (Oceanic to Oceanic plates) • Creating 9.0 earthquakes on the Richter scale • Convection currents in the asthenosphere – Sial to Sial (continental to continental plate) compressions • Strike slip faults with two convection currents moving in opposite direction, or same, but different speeds
  • 9. Volcanic Activity • Magma snaps rocks above it as it upwells • Magma moving up over a long period of time causes harmonic tremors • Volcanic Caldera collapses from a Caldera fault
  • 10. Manmade causes • Fracking- high pressure jets of water and sand – Blackpool piloting created a 2.8 earthquake on the Richter scale • Reservoirs- Sichuan province in China created a 7.8 earthquake on the Richter scale • Killed 69,000 people by accelerating the time between tectonic events • Atom bomb testing • Waste water underground… lubricates faultlines: USA (Rocky Mountain Arsenal) • Open cast mining (quarry) causes earthquakes through re-bounding
  • 11. Other Natural processes • Isostatic rebound • Hebrides in Scotland has up to 2.8 Richter scale earthquakes • Perigian spring tides- moon periodically moves closer to the earth • Causes a greater gravitational pull • This increases the sea level • Creating thrust faults over trenches with more pressure • Taiwan 1990-1999 experiences 21 7.0 Richter scale earthquakes all within 48 hours of a perigian spring tide