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MAJOR OF EATHQUAKES

INTRODUCTION
An earthquake (also known as a quake, tremor or temblor) is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. The seismicity, seismism or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experiencedover a period of time. Earthquakes are measured using observations from seismometers

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QUES: - What are earthquakes? Why do they occur? and why can't we predict them?
ANS:- Although we still can't predict when an earthquake will happen, we have learned much about earthquakes as well as the Earth itself from studying them. We have learned how to pinpoint the locations of earthquakes, how to accurately measure their sizes, and how to build flexible structures that can withstand the strong shaking produced by earthquakes and protect our loved ones.

An earthquake is a sudden shaking of the ground. They generate seismic wavcan be recorded on a sensitive instrument called a seismograph. The record of ground shaking recorded by the seismograph is called a seismogram.

What is a Seismograph?
Earthquakes generate seismic waves which can be detected with a sensitive instrument called a seismograph. Advances in seismograph technology have increased our understanding of both earthquakes and the Earth itself.

CAUSES OF EARTHQUAKES
The short answer is that earthquakes are caused by faulting, a sudden lateral or vertical movement of rock along a rupture (break) surface. Earthquake is a vibration or oscillation of the earth's surface. Just as waves are generated on the water surface of a pond when a stone strikes it, similarly, the earth's crust which has considerable elasticity is set into tremors by a sudden blow from internal or external sources. At times, the shocks are highly disastrous to human life and property. General destruction takes place in a few seconds; Earthquakes may be natural or artificial.

The causes of earthquakes may be divided into three groups (i) surface causes, (ii) volcanic causes and (iii) tectonic causes. (i) Surface causes: Great explosions, landslides, slips on steep coasts, dashing of sea waves, avalanches, railway trains, heavy trucks, some large engineering projects cause minor tremors. Some of them are man made, others are natural. (ii) Volcanic causes: Vocanic eruptions produce earthquakes. Earthquakes may precede, accompany and frequently follow volcanic eruptions. They are caused by sudden violent displacments of lava within or beneath the conduit of the valcano. (iii) Tectonic causes: Structural disturbances resulting in the relative displacements of the parts of the lithosphere is the main cause of this type of earthquake. Most of the disastrous earthquakes belong to this category and occur in areas of great faults and fractures. Sudden yielding to strain produced on the rocks of accumulating stress causes displacements especially along old fault zones known as great transform faults. Reid proposed the idea of elastic rebound hypothesis. Stresses accumulate on the two sides of the fault plane and produce strain. The rock deforms bends and when the stress crosses the elastic limit, sudden displacement of the two sides of the fault plane takes place. This results in a strong blow to the rocks Elastic rebound and produces tremors. Earthquakes often occur on the ocean floor. This produces large sea waves known as tsunami that produces devastating effects on the sea coasts.

Is there any way to prevent earthquakes?


We cannot prevent earthquakes; however, we can significantly mitigate their effects by identifying hazards, building safer structures, and providing education on earthquake safety.

DAMAGES CAUSED BY EARTHQUAKES

Earthquake damage depends on what area is hit. If an unpopulated region is struck, there will be low loss of life or property. If it hits a large city, there may be many injuries and destruction. Many of the areas at risk on the Ring of Fire are largely populated. Major earthquakes hitting those areas today could produce terrible damage. Most global cities have at least tripled their populations in the last hundred years, so a major earthquake could collapse skyscrapers, factories, and power plants. Millions of people could feel the shock waves, not only of the initial tremor, but of the aftershocks, tsunamis, landslides, floods, and social effects. Earthquakes have the power to uproot trees and send them crashing into buildings. They can trigger landslides and avalanches, and cause flooding and tsunamis. Human structures are also at risk. It is interesting to note that tall buildings will sustain the least damage if they are located directly at the epicenter. This is because they can withstand the up-and-down motion of P-waves. S-waves, on the other hand, occur far away from the epicenter, and cause the greatest stress by shaking buildings from side to side. These buildings are often knocked off their foundations. Buildings with thick, heavy walls do not resist shock waves very well. Violent earthquakes often cause structures to collapse, burying people underneath. Brick buildings are the most vulnerable. Chimneys and heavy roof tiles are often shaken off during the tremors, and can crash into bystanders or passerbys. Constructions on soft or filled-in soil suffer the most because they feel shock waves most directly. Buildings on bedrock suffer less damage because the ground is firmer. The shaking of the earth is sometimes not the greatest disaster. It is in the ensuing fires and floods that often the greatest damage occurs. In the 1906 earthquake, it was the subsequent fires that did the majority of the damage. An earthquake can also destroy dams high above a city or valley, causing floods to sweep down and sweep away everything in their path.

HISTORY OF EARTHQUAKES IN INDIA


Earthquakes Earthquakes are mighty killers. About 15,000 people are killed by them every year and more than 100 million people have lost their life due to earthquakes in the history of mankind. Earthquakes have the power to uproot trees and send them crashing into buildings. They can trigger landslides and avalanches and cause fires, flooding and tsunamis that cause further devastation. Any one who has visited California in USA will tell you what a beautiful State it is . But it is one of the most earthquake prone regions in the world. This is because a series of cracks in the earth crust run parallel to its coast. These are called faults. They are the places where the slabs that make up the earths crust called the tectonic places rub alongside each other. The tectonic pates move continually and this movement causes tremors along the fault lines. The Indian Tectonic Plate The India or Indian Plate is a tectonic plate that was originally a part of the ancient continent of Gondwanaland from which it split off, eventually becoming a major plate. About 50 to 55 million years ago, it fused with the adjacent Australian Plate. It is today part of the major IndoAustralian Plate, and includes the subcontinent of India and a portion of the basin under the Indian Ocean. About 90 million years ago, subsequent to the splitting off from Gondwanaland, the India Plate split from Madagascar. It began moving north, at about 20 cm/yr and began colliding with Asia between 50 and 55 million years ago. During this time, the India Plate covered a distance of 2,000 to 3,000 km , and moved faster than any other known plate. In 2007, German geologists determined that the reason the India Plate moved so quickly is that it is only half as thick as the other plates which formerly constituted Gondwanaland. The collision with the Eurasian Plate along the boundary between India and Nepal formed the orogenic belt that created the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalaya Mountains, as sediment bunched up like earth before a plow.

The India Plate is currently moving northeast at 5 cm/yr, while the Eurasian Plate is moving north at only 2 cm/yr . This is causing the Eurasian Plate to deform and the India Plate to compress at a rate of 4 mm/yr.

The seismic zone of India is depicted in the map. It clearly shows the highest earthquake riskis at the zones close to the Indian Plate. Himalayas and how it is formed? The highest mountain range in the world, the snow-capped Himalayas, is an example of a continent-to-continent collision. This immense mountain range began to form when two large landmasses, India and Eurasia, driven by tectonic plate movement, collided. As both landmasses have about the same rock density, one plate could not be subducted under the other. The pressure of the colliding plates could only be relieved by thrusting skyward. The folding, bending, and twisting of the the collision zone formed the jagged Himalayan peaks. This string of towering peaks is still being thrust up as India, embedded in the Indo-Australian Plate, continues to crunch relentlessly into Tibet, on the southern edge of the Eurasian Plate.

Major Earthquakes in India


DATE LOCATION MAGNITUDETOTAL DEATH 2,25,000* NA NA 10,700 NA NA 19,000 21,000 NA 85000* NA NA NA NA NA NA 1,000 2,000 NA NA 10,000 NA NA

2004 DEC 26 1897 JUN 12 1950 AUG 15 1934 JAN 15 1941 JUN 26 1819 JUN 16 1905 APR 04 2001 JAN 26 1918 JUL 08 2005 OCT 08 1869 JAN 10 1943 OCT 23 1930 JUL 02 1885 MAY 30 1956 JUL 21 1999 MAR 29 1988 AUG 06 1991 OCT 20 1967 DEC 10 1988 AUG 21 1993 SEP 30 1975 JAN 19 1997 MAY 22

OFF WEST COAST OF SUMATRA 9.3 SHILLONG PLATEAU 8.7 ARUNACHAL PRADESHCHINA BORDER 8.5 BIHAR-NEPALBORDER 8.3 ANDAMAN ISLANDS 8.1 KUTCH,GUJARAT 8 KANGRA, H.P 8 BHUJ , GUJARAT 7.7 SRIMANGAL, ASSAM 7.6 PAKISTAN 7.6 NEAR CACHAR, ASSAM 7.5 ASSAM 7.2 DHUBRI, ASSAM 7.1 SOPOR, J&K 7 ANJAR, GUJARAT 7 CHAMOLI DIST, UP 6.8 MANIPUR-MYANMAR BORDER 6.6 UTTARKASHI, UP HILLS 6.6 KOYNA, MAHARASHTRA 6.5 BIHAR-NEPAL BORDER 6.4 LATUR-OSMANABAD, MAHARASHTRA 6.3 KINNAUR, HP 6.2 JABALPUR,MP 6