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by kmayward
Last updated 7 years ago

Earth Sciences

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Focus QuestionsWhat are earthquakes?Where do they occur?How do earthquakes impact the environment?


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Earthquakes are more than just the Earth shaking and releasing stress.

What are earthquakes?

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Where do they occur?

Earthquakes generally occur on the tectonic plate boundaries however they can take place on any part of the Earth's surface. The largest earthquakes occur in New Zealand, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Japan and the Americas, and in Indonesia, where plates collide.

Plates along the Earths surface are continuously moving past each other. As they do so large rocks which have formed at the edge shift with immense power, causing what is known as an earthquake.

Environmental Impacts

Earthquakes cause floods, landslides, avalanches and tsunamis. Loss of life depends on where the earthquake hits. Many earthquake areas are highly populated and the risk of fires and floods, triggered by earthquake damaged buildings and dams, are often the major cause of loss of life and environmental damage.

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