- JohnLv 71 十年前最愛解答
Naturally occurring earthquakes
Plate tectonics wave typesMost naturally occurring earthquakes are related to the tectonic nature of the Earth. Such earthquakes are called tectonic earthquakes. The Earth's lithosphere is a patchwork of plates in slow but constant motion caused by the heat in the Earth's mantle and planetary core. The heat causes the rock under the earth to become liquid magama, which the plates are able to move around on, slowly but surely. Plate boundaries grind past each other, creating frictional stress. When the frictional stress exceeds a critical value, called local strength, a sudden failure occurs. The boundary of tectonic plates along which failure occurs is called the fault plane. When the failure at the fault plane results in a violent displacement of the Earth's crust, the elastic strain energy is released and seismic waves are radiated, thus causing an earthquake. This process of strain, stress, and failure is referred to as the Elastic-rebound theory. It is estimated that only 10 percent or less of an earthquake's total energy is radiated as seismic energy. Most of the earthquake's energy is used to power the earthquake fracture growth and is converted into heat. Therefore, earthquakes lower the Earth's available potential energy, though these losses are negligible.
The majority of tectonic earthquakes originate at depths not exceeding tens of kilometers. In subduction zones, where older and colder oceanic crust descends beneath another tectonic plate, earthquakes may occur at much greater depths (up to hundreds of kilometers). These seismically active areas of subduction are known as Wadati-Benioff zones. Deep focus earthquakes are another phenomenon associated with a subducting slab. These are earthquakes that occur at a depth at which the subducted lithosphere should no longer be brittle, due to the high temperature and pressure. A possible mechanism for the generation of deep focus earthquakes is faulting caused by olivine undergoing a phase transition into a spinel structure.
Earthquakes may also occur in volcanic regions and are caused by the movement of magma in volcanoes. Such quakes can be an early warning of volcanic eruptions.
A recently proposed theory suggests that some earthquakes may occur in a sort of earthquake storm, where one earthquake will trigger a series of earthquakes each triggered by the previous shifts on the fault lines, similar to aftershocks, but occurring years later, and with some of the later earthquakes as damaging as the early ones. Such a pattern was observed in the sequence of about a dozen earthquakes that struck the North Anatolian Fault in Turkey in the 20th Century, the half dozen large earthquakes in New Madrid in 1811-1812, and has been inferred for older anomalous clusters of large earthquakes in the Middle East and in the Mojave Desert.
Some earthquakes have anthropogenic sources, such as extraction of minerals and fossil fuel from the Earth's crust, the removal or injection of fluids into the crust, reservoir-induced seismicity, massive explosions, and collapse of large buildings. Seismic events caused by human activity are referred to by the term induced seismicity. They however are not strictly earthquakes and usually show a different seismogram than earthquakes that occur naturally.