Research Paper: Creation of Earthquakes and Tsunami

Published: 2021-08-17
1014 words
4 pages
9 min to read
Wesleyan University
Type of paper: 
Research paper
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Earthquake refers to the situation whereby the surface of the earth shakes which is caused by the energy that is released by the earths lithosphere suddenly leading to the formation of seismic waves. The strength of the earthquake tend to vary in size, some can be weak, and their impact can barely be felt while others are so strong which sometimes destroy an entire city. The seismic activity of an earthquake determines its size, type, and frequency over a given period (Action 15). This article will help in the understanding of the different signs and ways that can be used to detect the possibility of an earthquake in a given geographical area. It will further discuss how the energy that causes the earthquake is generated and as well as the impact of the earthquakes before and after it has happened.

The research data method used in this paper is the qualitative data collection method. During the research, the data collection techniques used were individual interviews, the use of observation and action research. I found out that earthquakes are most formed as a result of seismic waves occurring. The method used in measuring of great earthquake differs from the one used in measuring a small earthquake since the amount of energy released is different. I also found out that a Tsunami can be detected through the formation of a shadow.

Earthquakes usually develop in the crust of the earth. The crust of the earth is made up of submarine levels, the earth surface down to the floors of the ocean. Massive energy is contained in the inner part of the earth. As various volcanic activities take place and other human activities such as mining some of that energy tends to escape through the cracks .The energy that is stored in the earth outer crust results in the tectonic plates moving and knocking each other as they slide. The movement and the energy that has built up exerts great pressure on the plates which results in the creation of fault lines. The pressure later causes the fault lines to break up causing tectonic plates to move apart, against or over each other. It results in the formation of an earthquake which occurs in the form of seismic waves such as the water ripples. The energy that is escaping at this point tend to move away from the fault lines in all directions .As the waves move from one end of the earth to the other, they shake the earth and as well as any object or anything on the surface of the earth destroying structures and houses (Scholz 30) .

Tsunamis are waves that are long and last for a long period on the surface that is caused by volcanoes, landslides or by coastal earthquakes. Tsunamis do not lose their energy quickly and hence can travel a long distance. The tsunamis cannot be easily detected while in the ocean due to their amplitude that is negligible and the speed as well is slow. In a deep ocean, a Tsunami can be identified through the formation of a shadow. This is formed when perturbations are created by the Tsunami above the water in the wind velocity that is usually along a layer of air that is thin. The perturbations then make the surface of the sea to be rough and as well as forms a parallel strip to the wavefront that is darker between the crests and troughs. With the help of the shadow, the Tsunami can be detected with airborne and radiometers as well as satellite-based radars far away from the land (Rowan 1569).

In geophysics, the amount of energy that is released during an earthquake tends to be the most important subject. The amount of energy that is released during an earthquake is usually estimated depending on the magnitude of the earthquake through the use of the size energy relation log that was formulated by Richter and Gutenberg. The magnitude energy relation log is stipulated as E=1.5M+11.8.This relation is most suitable while determining the amount of energy release for small earthquakes. The relation is not ideal for great earthquakes which have a large length of 100km or more since the magnitude of such earthquakes tends to be calculated at the speed of the 20s which will result in not covering the entire surface affected by the earthquake. In a situation where there is the occurrence of a great earthquake the correlation between the rupture length and M tend to be very small and hence the energy released that is the E that is calculated can be misleading or uncertain (Kanamori 2985).

The occurrence of a Tsunami can cause a lot of damage that can be devastating. The effects of a Tsunami is determined by the characteristic of the seismic event that it generates, its magnitude, the distance from the origin point and water depth in the ocean. Small tsunamis are non-destructive. Massive tsunamis attack coastlines cause great damage to properties and also the loss of life. For example, the Indian Ocean tsunami and earthquake which is one of the most massive disasters that has ever occurred resulted in the death of approximately 230,000 people affecting 14 countries (Pelinovsky 35).

In conclusion, earthquakes can be caused by various reasons such as human activities which includes mining, landslides or the eruption of volcanoes. The amount of energy released by the earthquake depends on the magnitude of the earthquake. Various signs can be used to detect the occurrence of an earthquake such as the formation of a dark shadow, shaking and movement of the earth. The signs are essential as they help in the necessary actions being taken to reduce the loss of life through vacating people in that given area.

Works Cited

Action, Q A. Issues in Biophysics and Geophysics Research and Application. 2012.

Kanamori, Hiroo. "The energy release in great earthquakes." Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 82, no. 20, 1977, pp. 2981-2987.

Pelinovsky, Efim. "Hydrodynamics of Tsunami Waves." Waves in Geophysical Fluids, pp. 148.

Rowan, L. "Geophysics: Tsunami and Its Shadow." Science, vol. 304, no. 5677, 2004, pp. 1569a-1569a.

Scholz, C H. The Mechanics of Earthquakes and Faulting. Cambridge UP, 2002.

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