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BASIC PRINCIPLES OF EARTHQUAKE

EARTHQUAKES
sudden movement or shaking of the Earth
• Caused by plate tectonic stresses
• Located at plate boundaries
• Resulting in breakage of the Earth’s brittle crust
EARTHQUAKE : Caused by a fault

Fault is a fracture along which the earth moves.

Offsets of tilled farmland by 1979 movement of the


Imperial fault. View is to the east. West side of the fault
has moved north.
PLATE TECTONIC STRESSES
• Plate boundaries and faults (= cracks where
plate sections are moving in different directions)
cause friction as plates move
• Plates in a fault zone have STICK-SLIP motion
– Periods of no movement (stick)
and fast movement (slip)
– Energy stored as plates stick,
– Energy released as plates slip
TYPES OF FAULT: Normal and Reverse faults
Cross section of a normal
Fault/Tension. Hanging
wall moved downwards.
Zone of omission
Indicates extensional
forces active

Cross section of a reverse


Fault/Compression.
Hanging wall has
moved upwards. Zone of
Repetition indicates
compressional forces
active.
TYPES OF FAULT: Strike-slip fault

The right hand side of the fault moves towards the


man
When he turns around the right hand side will still
have moved closer to him. Called a right lateral
fault
TYPES OF FAULT: Left stepping right lateral fault

(a) A left step in a right lateral fault. The land is pushed


together when the fault moves. Eventually could grow
into a mountain.

(b) Example shows land offset along the Superstition Hills


right lateral fault during the 16 November 1987
earthquake.
TYPES OF FAULT :Right stepping right lateral fault

The land is pulled apart at the fault bend


whenever the fault moves. It creates a hole
that could become a basin.
Land offset along right lateral fault during the
rupture. Note the right step and the pull apart
at the bend.
TYPES OF FAULT : Fault surface

Diagram of the fault surface.

Hypocenter /focus where


Rupture began:
Epicenter point on Earth’s
Surface above the hypocenter.
EARTHQUAKE DAMAGE
• Landslides

• Building damage

• Liquefaction
LIQUEFACTION
when a solid (sand and soil) becomes saturated
with water and acts like a heavy liquid
• Results in a loss of soil strength & the ability of the
soil to support weight
EARTHQUAKE DAMAGE
Most caused by SURFACE waves (arrive last)
EARTHQUAKE INTENSITY
measures damage to man-made structures at
certain location
Modified Mercalli scale= measurement of damage to structures
• From I to XII
(Roman numerals)
• Descriptive, changes with
distance from epicenter
• Can change from location
to location

What you need:


• Your senses!
ISOSEISMIC MAPS
show the distribution of intensities
• Connects areas of
with the same
Modified Mercalli
number

• Areas are colored


according to
Modified Mercalli
number

Loma Prieta Earthquake


1989
EARTHQUAKE WAVES
• FOCUS= place deep within the Earth and along
the fault where rupture occurs

• EPICENTER = geographic point


on surface directly above focus
• SEISMIC WAVES produced by the release of
energy
– move out in circles from the point of
rupture (focus/hypocenter)

– 2 types waves: surface & body (travel


inside & through earth’s layers)

•P waves: back and forth movement of


rock; travel through solid, liquid, gas
•S waves: sideways movement of rock;
travel through solids only
BASICS Seismometer

The basic principles.

The earth moves moving the


framework of the seismometer.

The suspended heavy weight and


then pen beneath remain relatively
stationary.

As the concrete base


moves the stationary pen draws
an ink line on paper on the rotating
drum.
EARTHQUAKE WAVES
Seismographs record
earthquake waves

Seismograms show:
• Amplitude of seismic
waves (how much rock
moves or vibrates)
• Distance to the
epicenter
• Earthquake direction
EARTHQUAKE WAVES
• 3 types of seismic waves show up on
seismogram

– P waves: shake earth in same


direction as wave; travel thru solid,
liquid, gas
– S waves: Shake earth sideways to
wave direction; travel thru solids only
– Surface waves: circular movement of
rock; travel on surface – cause most
damage!!
EARTHQUAKE WAVES

P waves move through


solids & liquids

S waves move through solids only!!!


EARTHQUAKE WAVES
Body P waves S waves
waves

AKA Primary (1st to arrive) Secondary (2nd to arrive -


Longitudinal, Compression larger) Transverse, Shear

Moves all states of matter


through (solid, liquid, gas) Can go through solids only
back and forth movement of rock
Movement
• push/pull or compression/ Move sideways
of rock • perpendicular to direction
stretch out
• Like slinky down stairs of wave travel
• Like snake
Vibration is same as the
direction of travel
EARTHQUAKE MAGNITUDE
measures the size of seismic waves 
the energy released by the earthquake
Richter scale=measurement of energy released
based upon wave amplitude (size of vibration)
• <2 to ~10
• Amplitude of wave goes up
by 10 (Logarithmic scale)

What you need:


• Amplitude (size of vibration = wave height)
• Time between arrival of 1st P and 1st S waves
HOW TO READ SEISMOGRAMS

P & S (body waves) move through earth & arrive first


• P & S waves used to calculate magnitude of earthquake
• Amplitude = height of wave (how much the rock moves; size of vibration)
BASICS Seismogram

Seismogram recorded on Russia of a 1909 earthquake in Asia


Minor.

Three types of wave are observed P (Primary), S (Secondary) and L


(surface or Love) waves.

Note the difference in time between the P and S waves.


SEISMOLOGY: Two types of waves
BASICS move through the
Body waves. earth (Body waves)

(a) P waves. Travel the


fastest. Like the
push-pull motion of a
slinky toy. (Granite
4.8 km/sec)

(b) S waves. Move in an


up and down motion
perpendicular to the
direction of advance.
Like the waves in a
shaken rope. (Granite
3 km/sec)
SEISMIC WAVES
Surface waves

Surface waves created when body waves hit the


surface of the earth.
They are similar to the waves created by throwing a
rock into a lake.

Consist of Love waves which are horizontally


polarized and Raleigh waves which cause both
vertical and horizontal movement.

They travel slower than body waves but with less


attenuation because of long wavelength and low
frequency.
EARTHQUAKE LOCATION
Travel time versus distance plots
Can construct distance
versus travel time for
earthquakes knowing
properties of earth’s
interior
Note that with increasing
distance the arrival
times for the various
waves separates.
The 3 min 45 sec
difference between the
arrival time of the P and
S waves corresponds to
a distance of 2000 km.
LOCATING EARTHQUAKES Need three different
Triangulation seismic stations to locate
an earthquake.

Measure the P-S arrival


times and convert these
to distance.

Triangulate using radius


given by P-S travel times.

Triangulation for position of


an earthquake near New
Madrid using stations in
Columbus, St Louis and
Memphis
MAGNITUDE :Properties of waves

Important terms are


Amplitude - height of wave above the starting point
Wavelength - the distance between successive waves
Period - the time between successive waves = 1/
Frequency

Body waves - 0.5 to 20 Hz


Surface waves - 0.005 to 0.1 Hz.
MAGNITUDE :Scale

Richer scale

Based on the log to the base ten of the amplitudes of a


standard seismometer 100 km from the earthquake
center.

For every ten fold increase in amplitude the Richter


magnitude increases by one.

However the energy release goes up by a much large factor

Quick and easy to use


MAGNITUDE :Nomograph of the Richter scale

Read the difference in


travel time between P
and S waves and plot.

Read the maximum


amplitude of the S wave
and plot.

Draw a line between the


two points and gives
the magnitude.
MAGNITUDE :Earthquakes in the world each
year.
Earth is shaken by millions
of quakes each year.

Most are too small to be


felt.

To be damaging most have


to be above 6.0

Above 7 they can cause


major damage.

Note the decrease in


frequency as the
magnitude increases
MAGNITUDE: Comparison of Earthquakes
Comparison of Northridge,
Loma Prieta, San
Francisco and Sumatra
2004 earthquakes.

Compute seismic moment


and then convert to
Moment Magnitude

Moment is more reliable


measure for large
earthquakes as it
measures directly the
amount of strain energy
released by movement
along rupture surface.
MERCALLI VS. RICHTER
GROUND MOTION: IMPORTANT CONCEPTS
Earthquake Intensity

Want quantitative method of measuring


effect of earthquakes.
Use descriptive Mercalli scale

Major variables - Magnitude


- Distance from hypocenter
- Foundation materials/slopes
- Building style
- Duration of shaking
GROUND MOTION: EARTHQUAKE INTENSITY
Mercalli Scale

Earthquake magnitude asses energy released by earthquakes.


Earthquake intensity measures the effect on people and buildings
Used to asses historical records
GROUND MOTION: EARTHQUAKE INTENSITY
Building collapses
Especially dangerous are buildings
With “soft” first stories.
(a)No bracing on the first floor and
no shear walls. Stresses are
concentrated at the joints between
the between the first and second
floors. They give way causing the
floor to flatten.
(b) Building on Washington Street in
San Diego
GROUND MOTION: EARTHQUAKE
INTENSITY Bridges collapse
Poorly designed bridges
collapsed during 1994
Northridge earthquae due
to vertical supports and
horizontal roadbeds
moving at different
periods.
If not bound together
securely they separate
and fall when shaken.
Led to major retrofitting of
all bridges in California.
Strengthening columns
and improving
connections to the road
TSUNAMI : HOW CREATED
Biggest and most feared wave, harbor
wave - Japanese

Due to sub sea movements that disturb


water mass, most often earthquakes.

Analogous to throwing a stone into a pool,


ripples - tsunami waves

Period 10 - 60 min, Wavelength 100 - 800


km, amplitude 1 -2 m, velocity 230 m/sec
(500 mph)
TSUNAMI
NOTALBLE TSUNAMI IN RECENT TIMES

Many tsunami’s in the Pacific.


Mainly from sea bottom motion during earthquake.
Velocity = √(g x D) where D is the depth of the ocean in
meters. = 230 m/sec
Moves quite slowly relative to P and S waves
TSUNAMI :EARLY WARNING SYSTEM
P, S and surface waves move at between
10 - 5.5 km/sec.
Much faster than tsunami
velocity of 230 m/sec.
Body waves arrive much
sooner than the tsunami
waves.
Have enough time to
determine size and
position of earthquake before the
tsunami arrives.This is the basis of the
early warning system.