• Question: what is an earthquake?

    Asked by emilythenerd to James V on 25 Jun 2012.
    • Photo: James Verdon

      James Verdon answered on 25 Jun 2012:

      Hi emilythenerd,

      Earthquakes occur when two tectonic plates are sliding against each other along a fault. Because the faults are not smooth, they cannot just easily slide past each other – instead they stick and then slip. This means that they stick together and don’t move, building up energy. Finally, when too much energy has built up, the fault breaks, rupturing and all the accumulated energy is released at once. That is what an earthquake is