Faultline: Seismic science at the Epicenter
Live earthquake data
Great San Francisco earthquakes
Earthquake basics
Mitigating earthquake damage
Earthquake activities

 

 

 

 
We take the stability of the earth for granted, but in reality, the ground we walk across and build structures on is constantly shifting. The motions of the planet's crust usually happen too slowly for us to notice. But sometimes the ground seems to take a jump, setting in motion events that topple buildings, send oceans lurching, and change the landscape. How does it happen?
 
PLATE TECTONICS
You may feel like you're on solid ground, but the land beneath your feet floats on rock as sturdy as...taffy.
 
FAULTS
Each tectonic plate is drifting its own way. When they meet, some friction is bound to arise.
 
WAVES
S, P, Love, and Rayleigh.
 
MEASUREMENTS
Richter and beyond. And by the way, where does your driving register on the Richter scale?
 

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