Friday, January 3, 2014

Nature At Its Most Devastating: The Science Of Earthquakes

Earthquakes are often amazingly impressive events. If they are large enough, they can disrupt local habitats and even alter Earth"s rotation. Just a few centuries ago, we could only explain volcanic and seismic activities as the acts of gods who were punishing their creations. For example, ancient Greeks believed that Poseidon was the "Earth-Shaker," a being who would topple their cities if they didn"t worship and appease him. Unfortunately for them, Greece sits in one the most earthquake prone areas of the world, situated in a boundary region between 3 tectonic plates (their God must have often appeared to be displeased). Similarly, the Romans believed the Italian island of Volcano was the vent above the forge of the god Vulcan.

Centuries later, even with all our technological advances, we haven"t come to a complete understanding of the various phenomena that make up Mother Nature. Nevertheless, today, scientists have a very reliable and accurate understanding of the mechanics behind these (often devastating) seismic events.

To learn about these fantastic events, see:

In this image:
Smoke engulfs San Francisco as fires erupt after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
aia A.L. Murat – Corbis

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