The concept behind this website is to give real-time information on earthquake activity. Examples of such information include the magnitude of the quake, regions hit and even the exact times of the earthquakes. The website provides readily available data for research and knowledge purposes.
United States Geological Survey(USGS) researches and reports on earthquakes. They also monitor regional, national and global crustal movements, station information and seismic waveforms (Earthquake.usgs.gov). Any information they find is made available to anyone through seismicity maps, the online catalog of search archives, data products to view and download and FAQs all found on the website.
Some areas experience a higher number of earthquakes than others. This happens because these regions are close to fault lines or tectonic boundaries. The movement of bordering tectonic plates causes friction and tension build up which leads to sudden shock waves occurring as earthquakes that affect areas that are closer to the faults than those further away.
Alaska has the greatest concentration of earthquakes. The state’s earthquake center on average detects a quake every fifteen minutes, and an all-time high of above forty thousand was reported in the year 2014 (Pitilakis 107). Each year the Pacific plate moves a few inches toward Alaska which is considered as a North American plate. When these two plates meet subduction occurs leading to earthquakes.
The largest most recent earthquake happened in the northeast of Gisborne, New Zealand on 1st of September 2016. It had a magnitude of 7.1 mww and a depth of 19.0 km (Earthquake.usgs.gov). This massive earthquake was caused by shallow oblique – normal faulting close to the boundary between Australia and the Pacific plate.
The New Zealand earthquake had ecological effects such as ground failure and landslides, surface deformation and finally possible tsunami as waves of 30cm were measured off the coast of Gisborne. Some biological effects such as loss of flora and fauna, and groundwater biodiversity loss were also experienced.
- “Earthquakes”. Earthquake.usgs.gov. N.p., 2016. Web. 26 Sept. 2016.
- “M7.1 – 166Km NE Of Gisborne, New Zealand”. Earthquake.usgs.gov. N.p., 2016. Web. 26 Sept. 2016.
- Pitilakis, Kyriazis D. Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering. Dordrecht: Springer, 2007. Print.