Earthquake and earthquake

Although the words Earthquake and Earthquake are synonymous and refer to the same phenomenon, in popular language they are used to refer to the different types of intensity and magnitude that sudden movements of the earth’s crust have. Below you will find all the necessary information so that you can correctly differentiate these concepts.



DefinitionAn earthquake is the shaking of the Earth’s surface as a result of the sudden release of energy in the Earth’s lithosphere that creates seismic waves.The earthquake in the first instance is a synonym for the phenomenon called Earthquake, which consists of sudden movements of the earth’s crust. But popularly, it is used to refer to those of less intensity and magnitude.
Intensity and magnitudeWhen we talk about earthquakes, we generally refer to those that have a magnitude of approximately 6 or more on the Richter scale.When we talk about earthquakes, we generally refer to those that have a magnitude less than 6 on the Richter scale.
Effects editLarge-scale destruction of buildings and other structures, partially or totally.Unexpected minor shocks that can cause falling objects and minor structural damage.
ExampleThe 1960 Valdivia earthquake, which had a magnitude of 9.5 and caused a great deal of damage.An earthquake of magnitude 5.4 that affected the south of France on 11/12/19, without causing major problems.

What is an earthquake

An earthquake is the shaking of the Earth’s surface as a result of the sudden release of energy in the Earth’s lithosphere that creates seismic waves . Earthquakes can range in size from those that are so weak that they cannot be felt to those that are violent enough to shake people and destroy entire cities. The seismicity or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type, and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time.

On the surface of the Earth, earthquakes are manifested by shaking and sometimes displacement of the ground. When the epicenter of a major earthquake is offshore, the seabed can shift enough 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 , whether natural or human-caused, that generates seismic waves. Earthquakes are caused primarily by rupturing geological faults , but also by other events such as volcanic activity, landslides, mine explosions, and nuclear tests. The initial breaking point of an earthquake is called the focus or hypocenter. The epicenter is the point at ground level directly above the hypocenter.

What is an earthquake

Popularly, although not correctly, the word earthquake is used to refer to those movements of the tectonic plates of less intensity and magnitude , thus differentiating them from the earthquakes that we explained previously.

An earthquake consists of the vibrations (energy waves) generated by the sudden movements of the earthquake crust. They travel through the Earth like a tsunami travels through the ocean, or sound travels through the air. The time it takes for seismic waves to reach seismic observatories allows scientists to pinpoint the precise location of the earthquake that generated them.

There are two different types of seismic waves : body waves and surface waves . As these waves have different physical characteristics, their arrival times at seismic observatories are also used to map the interior of the Earth.

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