Earthquakes are the result of plate tectonics, or shifting plates in the crust of Earth, and quakes occur when the frictional stress of gliding plate boundaries builds and causes failure at a fault line. In an earthquake, elastic strain energy is released and waves radiate, shaking the ground. Scientists can predict where major temblors might occur in a general sense, but research does not yet allow forecasts for specific locations or accurate predictions of timing. Major earthquakes, some generating tsunamis, have leveled entire cities and affected whole countries. Relatively minor earthquakes can also be induced, or caused by human activity, including extraction of minerals from Earth and the collapse of large buildings.
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Big Earthquake Looms for Chile, Experts Say
Damage in northern Chile caused by the tsunami associated with the magnitude-8.2 earthquake that struck in April 2014.
August 13th, 2014
The powerful earthquake that rocked Chile in April ruptured the earth in a way that suggests major quakes; something similar to the big one that shook the area in 1877 may still hit the region in the future, researchers say.
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Deadly Earthquake Strikes Southwestern China
August 4th, 2014
A devastating magnitude-6.1 earthquake struck southwestern China's Yunnan province yesterday (Aug. 3), killing hundreds of people, according to news reports.
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How Extinct Undersea Volcanoes Trigger Rare 'Tsunami Earthquakes'
Tsunamis, like the one that stuck Aceh, Indonesia, cause serious flooding and submerge entire villages.
June 30th, 2014
Extinct volcanoes on the ocean floor get squashed by tectonic plates and create tsunami earthquakes.
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Faraway Earthquake Triggered Antarctica Icequakes
Howard nunataks
August 10th, 2014
Researchers report the first evidence that distant earthquakes can trigger icequakes in Antarctica.
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'Sonic Boom' Earthquake Shatters Expectations
Okhotsk earthquake
July 10th, 2014
One of the world's deepest earthquakes was also a rare supersonic quake, upending ideas about where these unusual earthquakes strike.
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Big Earthquakes Double in 2014, But They're Not Linked
world earthquakes
June 27th, 2014
A new study finds there were more than twice as many big earthquakes in the first quarter of 2014 as compared with the average since 1979, but researchers attribute the increase to random chance.
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Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On: Busy Stretch for Large Earthquakes
Earthquakes in 2014
May 21st, 2014
Are you wondering if it's your imagination, or is there really an uptick in earthquakes? A Live Science analysis looks at recent earthquake activity.
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Strong Earthquake Rattles Southern Mexico
The earthquake's location is marked on a map.
July 7th, 2014
An earthquake of preliminary magnitude 7.1 struck today along the Pacific coast of southern Mexico's state of Chiapas, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
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Strong Earthquake Strikes Alaska's Aleutian Islands
Alaska tsunami map
June 23rd, 2014
A strong magnitude-8.0 earthquake struck Alaska's Aleutian Islands this afternoon (June 23).
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