In the 20th century, researchers realized that the Earth's crust is not one piece, but is made up of many huge tectonic plates upon which the continents ride.
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.
A 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra, an island in western Indonesia, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
Seismologists and app developers are shaking things up with a new app that transforms smartphones into personal earthquake detectors.
The San Andreas and Garlock faults, as well as other well-known and confounding faults around the world, may in fact be "zipper" faults, new research suggests.
Supervolcanoes, such as the one dormant under Yellowstone National Park, may erupt when cracks form in the roofs of the chambers holding their molten rock, according to a new study.
The stretching of the Earth's crust in a seismically transitional region likely caused the three quakes that struck Phoenix, Arizona, Sunday night. Such temblors are relatively uncommon in the state.
A record-breaking number of small earthquakes has hit San Ramon, California, over the past two weeks.
Many of the people who were injured from the 6.0-magnitude earthquake in Napa, California, last year were actually hurt during the cleanup effort, after the quake was over, according to a new study.
A 1570 earthquake in Italy shifted the Po River's right bank upward by several inches, forcing the river to change course.
Giant rocks stacked in seemingly gravity-defying poses could indicate that earthquakes on the San Andreas Fault can jump to another major fault in Southern California.
The earthquake that struck Nepal in April shook in a way that spared many small buildings in the city but devastated those more than two stories high, a new study finds.
The incredible energy unleashed by the magnitude-7.8 earthquake that hit Nepal on April 25 moved Mount Everest, the world's tallest peak, more than an inch to the southwest.
Old concrete is not known for standing up to earthquakes, but retrofits made with carbon fiber and shape memory alloy may change that assumption.