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the San Andreas Fault in the Carrizo Plain, northwest of Los Angeles.
Disatser caused by earthquake in 1755 in Lisbon

An Earthquake (also known as a quake, tremor or temblor) is motion of the Earth's crust which occurs with a sudden release of energy that creates seismic waves. The seismicity, seismism or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time. Tectonic earthquakes occur anywhere in the earth where there is sufficient stored elastic strain energy to drive fracture propagation along a fault plane.Earthquake means the shaking of the Earth’s surface. It is a sudden trembling of the surface of the Earth. Earthquakes certainly are a terrible natural disaster. Furthermore, Earthquakes can cause huge damage to life and property. Some Earthquakes are weak in nature and probably go unnoticed. In contrast, some Earthquakes are major and violent. The major Earthquakes are almost always devastating in nature. Most noteworthy, the occurrence of an Earthquake is quite unpredictable. This is what makes them so dangerous.

Tectonic Earthquake: The Earth’s crust comprises of the slab of rocks of uneven shapes. These slab of rocks are tectonic plates. Furthermore, there is energy stored here. This energy causes tectonic plates to push away from each other or towards each other. As time passes, the energy and movement build up pressure between two plates.

Volcanic Earthquake: This Earthquake is related to volcanic activity. Above all, the magnitude of such Earthquakes is weak. These Earthquakes are of two types. The first type is Volcano-tectonic earthquake. Here tremors occur due to injection or withdrawal of Magma. In contrast, the second type is Long-period earthquake. Here Earthquake occurs due to the pressure changes among the Earth’s layers.

Collapse Earthquake: These Earthquakes occur in the caverns and mines. Furthermore, these Earthquakes are of weak magnitude. Undergrounds blasts are probably the cause of collapsing of mines. Above all, this collapsing of mines causes seismic waves. Consequently, these seismic waves cause an Earthquake.

Explosive Earthquake: These Earthquakes almost always occur due to the testing of nuclear weapons. When a nuclear weapon detonates, a big blast occurs. This results in the release of a huge amount of energy. This probably results in Earthquakes


(sorted alphabetically by author/source)

  • However, within the hollows of the earth,
    When from one quarter the wind builds up, lunges,muscles the deep caves with its headstrong power,
    The earth leans hard where the force of wind has pressed it;
    Then above ground, the higher the house is built,
    The nearer it rises to the sky, the worse
    Will it lean that way and jut out perilously,
    The beams wrenched loose and hanging ready to fall.
    And to think, men can't believe that for this world
    Some time of death and ruin lies in wait,
    Yet they see so great a mass of earth collapse!
    And the winds pause for breath—that's lucky, for else
    No force could rein things galloping to destruction.
    But since they pause for breath, to rally their force,
    Come building up and then fall driven back,
    More often the earth will threaten ruin than
    Perform it. The earth will lean and then sway back,
    Its wavering mass restored to the right poise
    That explains why all houses reel, top floor
    Most then the middle, and ground floor hardly at all.
Earthquakes traveling through the interior of the globe are like so many messengers sent out to explore a new land. The messages are constantly coming and seismologists are fast learning to read them. - Reginald Aldworth Daly.
  • Earthquakes traveling through the interior of the globe are like so many messengers sent out to explore a new land. The messages are constantly coming and seismologists are fast learning to read them.
    • Reginald Aldworth Daly in “Our Mobile Earth” Chapter I, p. 5 quoted in : Carl C. Gaither, Alma E. Cavazos-Gaither “Gaither's Dictionary of Scientific Quotations”, p. 588
  • Our earth is very old, an old warrior that has lived through many battles. Nevertheless, the face of it is still changing, and science sees no certain limit of time for its stately evolution. Our solid earth, apparently so stable, inert, and finished, is changing, mobile, and still evolving. Its major quakings are largely the echoes of that divine far-off event, the building of our noble mountains. The lava floods and intriguing volcanoes tell us of the plasticity, mobility, of the deep interior of the globe. The slow coming and going of ancient shallow seas on the continental plateaus tell us of the rhythmic distortion of the deep interior-deep-seated flow and changes of volume. Mountain chains prove the earth's solid crust itself to be mobile in high degree. And the secret of it all—the secret of the earthquake, the secret of the “temple of fire,” the secret of the ocean basin, the secret of the highland—is in the heart of the earth, forever invisible to human eyes.
  • I happened to be [on February 1835] on shore [in Chile], and was lying down in the wood to rest myself. It came on suddenly, and lasted two minutes; but the time appeared much longer. The rocking of the ground was most sensible. The undulations appeared to my companion and myself to come from due east; whilst others thought they proceeded from south-west; which shows how difficult it is in all cases to perceive the direction of these vibrations. There was no difficulty in standing upright, but the motion made me almost giddy. It was something like the movement of a vessel in a little cross ripple, or still more like that felt by a person skating over thin ice, which bends under the weight of his body.
    • Charles Darwin in: Richard V. Lee “Darwin’s Earthquake” Sourced from Darwin’s Journal of Researches, p. 898
  • A bad earthquake at once destroys the oldest associations: the world, the very emblem of all that is solid, has moved beneath our feet like a crust over a fluid; one second of time has conveyed to the mind a strange idea of insecurity, which hours of reflection would never have created.
    • Charles Darwin in: Richard V. Lee “Darwin’s Earthquake” Sourced from Darwin’s Journal of Researches, p. 898
  • Allah Most High hath created veins in the earth and hath given them into the hands of angels. Wherever the burden of sins increases and Allah Most High wants to scourge the people there, He orders the angels and the angel of that place pulls the vein (i.e., the vein of that region) and the earth there trembles and there occurs the earthquake. (Verily, Allah knoweth best!)
    • The Fatawa-i-Rahimiyyah quoted in Arun Shourie - The World of Fatwas Or The Sharia in Action (2012, Harper Collins)
  • No one can be certain where or when the next great earthquake will occur. It is helpful to know, though, that such upheavals take place more frequently in California than in Kansas: that people who live along the San Andreas Fault should configure their houses against seismic shocks, not funnel clouds. Nobody would prudently bet, just yet, on who will play in the 2001 World Series. It seems safe enough to assume, though, that proficiency will determine which teams get there: achieving it, too, is a kind of configuring against contingencies. Not even the most capable war planner can predict where the next war will occur, or what its outcome will be. But is it equally clear that war planning should therefore cease? The point, in all of these instances, is not so much to ''predict'' the future as to ''prepare'' for it.
    • John Lewis Gaddis, "History, Theory, and Common Ground", ''International Security'', Vol. 22, No. 1 (Summer, 1997)
  • But an extraordinary event deeply disturbed the boy's peace of mind for the first time. On the 1st of November, 1755, the earthquake at Lisbon took place, and spread a prodigious alarm over the world, long accustomed to peace and quiet. A great and magnificent capital, which was at the same time a trading and mercantile city, is smitten without warning by a most fearful calamity. The earth trembles and totters; the sea foams; ships dash together; houses fall in, and over them churches and towers; the royal palace is in part swallowed by the waters; the bursting land seems to vomit flames, since smoke and fire are seen everywhere amid the ruins. Sixty thousand persons, a moment before in ease and comfort, fall together; and he is to be deemed most fortunate who is no longer capable of a thought or feeling about the disaster. The flames rage on; and with them rage a troop of desperadoes, before concealed, or set at large by the event. The wretched survivors are exposed to pillage, massacre, and every outrage; and thus on all sides Nature asserts her boundless capriciousness.
  • Intimations of this event had spread over wide regions more quickly than the authentic reports: slight shocks had been felt in many places; in many springs, particularly those of a mineral nature, an unusual receding of the waters had been remarked; and so much the greater was the effect of the accounts themselves, which were rapidly circulated, at first in general terms, but finally with dreadful particulars. Hereupon the religious were neither wanting in reflections, nor the philosophic in grounds for consolation, nor the clergy in warnings. So complicated an event arrested the attention of the world for a long time; and, as additional and more detailed accounts of the extensive effects of this explosion came from every quarter, the minds already aroused by the misfortunes of strangers began to be more and more anxious about themselves and their friends. Perhaps the demon of terror had never so speedily and powerfully diffused his terrors over the earth.
  • The boy, who was compelled to put up with frequent repetitions of the whole matter, was not a little staggered. God, the Creator and Preserver of heaven and earth, whom the explanation of the first article of the creed declared so wise and benignant, having given both the just and the unjust a prey to the same destruction, had not manifested himself by any means in a fatherly character. In vain the young mind strove to resist these impressions. It was the more impossible, as the wise and scripture-learned could not themselves agree as to the light in which such a phenomenon should be regarded.
  • Earthquakes may be brought about because wind is caught up in the earth, so the earth is dislocated in small masses and is continually shaken, and that causes it to sway.
  • Most of these Mountains and Inland places whereon these kind of Petrify'd Bodies and Shells are found at present, or have been heretofore, were formerly under the Water, and that either by the descending of the Waters to another part of the Earth by the alteration of the Centre of Gravity of the whole bulk, or rather by the Eruption of some kind of Subterraneous Fires or Earthquakes, great quantities of Earth have been deserted by the Water and laid bare and dry.
  • ...the surface of the earth was subject to alterations by natural events, such as earthquakes, volcanoes, and the erosive action of wind and water, operating over very long periods of time. Changes in the land created new environments and fostered adaptations in life forms that could lead to the formation of new species. Without the demonstration of the accumulation of multiple crustal events over time in Chile, the biologic implications of the specific species of birds and tortoises found in the Galapagos Islands and the formulation of the concept of natural selection might have remained dormant.
  • It must have appeared almost as improbable to the earlier geologists, that the laws of earthquakes should one day throw light on the origin of mountains, as it must to the first astronomers, that the fall of an apple should assist in explaining the motions of the moon.
At half-past two o'clock of a moonlit morning in March, I was awakened by a tremendous earthquake, and though I hadn ever before enjoyed a storm of this sort, the strange thrilling motion could not be mistaken, and I ran out of my cabin, both glad and frightened, shouting, "A noble earthquake! A noble earthquake" feeling sure I was going to learn something. - John Muir.
  • An earthquake is a great teacher. It doesn’t make any suggestions; it’s making commands. It doesn’t ask for our attention; it demands it. It doesn’t just hope we’ll contemplate and activity; it brings about almost instant obedience.
  • Sometimes the roots of a tree may be firmer than the foundations of a house. When the floor starts shaking, wouldn’t it be safer to catch hold of the branch of a tree? The times are so difficult that you may find a branch more secure than the slabs that make up the floor... In the midst of earth tremors, the supple, living branch will not break; that is why you should focus on studying the nature of things. It is silly not to make use of what is growing right by the window. Only a madman needlessly uproots a plant that he himself is unable to cultivate.
  • At half-past two o'clock of a moonlit morning in March, I was awakened by a tremendous earthquake, and though I hadn't ever before enjoyed a storm of this sort, the strange thrilling motion could not be mistaken, and I ran out of my cabin, both glad and frightened, shouting, "A noble earthquake! A noble earthquake" feeling sure I was going to learn something.
  • The shocks were so violent and varied, and succeeded one another so closely, that I had to balance myself carefully in walking as if on the deck of a ship among waves, and it seemed impossible that the high cliffs of the Valley could escape being shattered. In particular, I feared that the sheer-fronted Sentinel Rock, towering above my cabin, would be shaken down, and I took shelter back of a large yellow pine, hoping that it might protect me from at least the smaller outbounding boulders.
    • John Muir in: "John Muir and the March 26, 1872, Owens Valley Earthquake".
  • Just as the spectroscope opened up a new astronomy by enabling the astronomer to determine some of the constituents of which distant stars are composed, so the seismograph, recording the unfelt motion of distant earthquakes, enables us to see into the earth and determine its nature with as great a certainty, up to a certain point, as if we could drive a tunnel through it and take samples of the matter passed through.
Damage during 2010 Haiti earthquake.
As seismologists gained more experience from earthquake records, it became obvious that the problem could not be reduced to a single peak acceleration. In fact, a full frequency of vibrations occurs. - Charles Francis Richter.
Seismometer used for measurement of magnitude of earthquake. - I think that harping on [earthquake] prediction is something between a will-o'-the-wisp and a red herring. Attention is thereby diverted away from positive measures to eliminate earthquake risk. -Charles Francis Richter.
  • The most remarkable feature about the magnitude scale was that it worked at all and that it could be extended on a worldwide basis. It was originally envisaged as a rather rough-and-ready procedure by which we could grade earthquakes. We would have been happy if we could have assigned just three categories, large, medium, and small; the point is, we wanted to avoid personal judgments. It actually turned out to be quite a finely tuned scale.
  • Most loss of life and property has been due to the collapse of antiquated and unsafe structures, mostly of brick and other masonry. … There is progress of California toward building new construction according to earthquake-resistant design. We would have less reason to ask for earthquake prediction if this was universal.
  • I think that harping on [earthquake] prediction is something between a will-o'-the-wisp and a red herring. Attention is thereby diverted away from positive measures to eliminate earthquake risk.
  • Once you have been in an earthquake you know, even if you survive without a scratch, that like a stroke in the heart, it remains in the earth's breast, horribly potential, always promising to return, to hit you again, with an even more devastating force. ”
  • When Benjamin Franklin invented the lightning-rod, the clergy, both in England and America, with the enthusiastic support of George III, condemned it as an impious attempt to defeat the will of God. For, as all right-thinking people were aware, lightning is sent by God to punish impiety or some other grave sin—the virtuous are never struck by lightning. Therefore if God wants to strike any one, Benjamin Franklin [and his lightning-rod] ought not to defeat His design; indeed, to do so is helping criminals to escape. But God was equal to the occasion, if we are to believe the eminent Dr. Price, one of the leading divines of Boston. Lightning having been rendered ineffectual by the “iron points invented by the sagacious Dr. Franklin,” Massachusetts was shaken by earthquakes, which Dr. Price perceived to be due to God’s wrath at the “iron points.” In a sermon on the subject he said, “In Boston are more erected than elsewhere in New England, and Boston seems to be more dreadfully shaken. Oh! there is no getting out of the mighty hand of God.” Apparently, however, Providence gave up all hope of curing Boston of its wickedness, for, though lightning-rods became more and more common, earthquakes in Massachusetts have remained rare.
  • Diseased nature oftentimes breaks forth
    In strange eruptions; oft the teeming earth
    Is with a kind of colic pinch'd and vex'd
    By the imprisoning of unruly wind
    Within her womb; which, for enlargement striving,
    Shakes the old beldam earth and topples down
    Steeples and moss-grown towers.
  • The Earth is God's pinball machine and each quake, tidal wave, flash flood and volcanic eruption is the result of a TILT that occurs when God, cheating, tries to win free games.
  • We know we cannot underestimate the importance of emergency planning in our region, nor can we assume we'll have ample warning time. If an earthquake or terrorist attack hits, we won't necessarily have advance alerts or opportunities to double- and triple-check our plans.
  • Man survives earthquakes, epidemics, the horrors of disease, and agonies of the soul, but all the time his most tormenting tragedy has been, is, and will always be, the tragedy of the bedroom.”
  • Nature uncovers the inner secrets of nature in two ways: one by the force of bodies operating outside it; the other by the very movements of its innards. The external actions are strong winds, rains, river currents, sea waves, ice, forest fires, floods; there is only one internal force—earthquake.
  • Opinions have caused more ills than the plague or earthquakes on this little globe of ours.
    • Voltaire, in a letter to Élie Bertrand (5 January 1759)

See also[edit]

  • [[Karma|Law of cause and effect]]

Volcano (film)

External links[edit]

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