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The occurrence of earthquakes is mainly in the areas that happen to be on the edges of tectonic plates. As the brittle structure of the plates hit each other in its movement over the softer lower layers, the shock waves travel through the crust of the earth in the form of earthquakes (Walker 2007). This is now detailed event specific on how an earthquake happens. There might be a variety of ways that plates brush against each other causing an earthquake. This is directly in relation to the geological setting of these plates which will be described in the specific case ahead. Taking the 2005 Kashmir earthquake as an example, it is simple to understand how geological settings of plates influence the earthquake zones and the damage caused. Killing over 80,000 people in Pakistan and over 1,000 in India as well as leaving over 4 million people without homes, the earthquake was one of the devastating contemporary earthquakes (Roza, 2007). Earthquake matching the size of this one impact human civilization at range of fronts (Roza, 2007). Pakistan has been labeled as being vulnerable to seismic events in general and has experienced earthquakes from time to time (Kakar 2008) because of its position over the edge of the Indian plate (Khan 2000). The Indian plate runs through the full length of the country (Khan 2000) making many areas of the region in the most affected zones of the earthquakes. Research alludes, the higher the presence of plates (and hence the plate boundaries) is, the higher the earthquakes occur in the region (Ford & Taylor 2006). This has been exemplified by the comparison that Pacific ocean has more earthquakes since it has more tectonic plates than the Atlantic ocean (Ford & Taylor 2006). The plate movement is slow enough to be measurable in centimeters a year yet the interaction, scraping and the hitting of plates even at that pace is enough to cause seismic events that have significant effect on the earth’s surface (Ford & Taylor 2006). The Himalayan mountain range, which itself has been born out of the seismic instability from the plates’ interaction, has had the same reasons for its birth in that specific region as that of the plate tectonics. The geological tectonic setting is such that any plate collision results in earthquakes along the fault lines which go right through the length of the country (Khan 2000). Reports attributed more than 978 aftershocks to the earthquake on daily basis (ReliefWeb 2005) that were at times of greater magnitude than the earthquake itself. Sudden slip events at the plate edges cause the shocks that travel through the length of the fault lines (Hubenthal et. al 2008). The elasticity of the earth’s crust ...Show more
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Seismic engineering: Causes of earthquakes in relation to geology 28-3-2013 Being the main reason for the cause of earthquakes, the geological setting and plate tectonics are a key to understanding the mechanism of earthquakes. Seismic engineering as a subject has long been motivated by the need to detect explosions such as nuclear testing as well as to develop earthquake early notification systems…
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