An Earthquake forms when two or more large pieces of the Earth’s crust bump into each other and unexpectedly drops or breaks. Lucky the chunks of Earth are moving very slow. You may notice that certain locations of the world are likely to experience quakes. These locations are where the edges of the Earth's crust are located, they are called faults. Pressure and heat (under the surface) build up over time causing repeated ruptures. Scientists use a device called a seismograph to measure the power of a quake. A seismograph measures the value on the Moment Magnitude Scale (MMS). The larger the value on this scale, the greater the damage caused by the quake. The damage caused to the surface by an Earthquake is a result of how close to the surface the fault event occurs and the makeup of the fault.
While we can measure the significance of an earthquake, we still do not have the technology to accurately predict quakes. The best we can do is to locate where faults exist and know where they are likely to happen. These worksheets explore the nature of Earthquakes and we explore several different major events.