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What is an earthquake – All you need to know

Delhi: An earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale rattled residents of Delhi and north India on Monday night.

The epicentre of the earthquake was in Rudraprayag of Uttarakhand, as per National Seismological Bureau.

Following is what an earthquake is:

– An earthquake is the shaking of the surface of the Earth, resulting from the sudden release of energy in the Earth’s lithosphere that creates seismic waves.

– The seismicity or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time.

– Earthquakes are measured using measurements from seismometers.

– The more numerous earthquakes smaller than magnitude 5 reported by national seismological observatories are measured mostly on the local magnitude scale, also referred to as the Richter magnitude scale.

– These two scales are numerically similar over their range of validity.

– Magnitude 3 or lower earthquakes are mostly imperceptible or weak and magnitude 7 and over potentially cause serious damage over larger areas, depending on their depth.

– Intensity of shaking is measured on the modified Mercalli scale.

– The shallower an earthquake, the more damage to structures it causes, all else being equal.

– At the Earth’s surface, earthquakes manifest themselves by shaking and sometimes displacement of the ground.

– When the epicenter of a large earthquake is located offshore, the seabed may be displaced sufficiently to cause a tsunami.

– Earthquakes can also trigger landslides, and occasionally volcanic activity.

– In its most general sense, the word earthquake is used to describe any seismic event that generates seismic waves.

– Earthquakes are caused mostly by rupture of geological faults, but also by other events such as volcanic activity, landslides, mine blasts, and nuclear tests.

– An earthquake’s point of initial rupture is called its focus or hypocenter.

– The epicenter is the point at ground level directly above the hypocenter.

Source: Zee News