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Earthquakes

Unit F Vocabulary

TermDefinition
body wave A seismic wave that moves through the interior of the earth
earthquake A term used to describe ground shaking and radiated seismic energy caused by a sudden slip along a fault or by a volcanic eruption
epicenter The point on Earth’s surface directly above an earthquake’s starting point
fault A fracture along which the blocks of crust on either side have moved
focus The spot or origin where the earthquake began -- often below the surface of the earth.
intensity The amount of damage caused by an earthquake
magnitude The measure of the strength of an earthquake
Modified Mercalli Scale Scale that shows the levels of earthquake intensity
Moment Magnitude Scale Magnitude scale that is more accurate for larger earthquakes
P-Wave A seismic wave that shakes the ground back and forth in the same direction and the opposite direction as the direction the wave is moving.
Richter Scale A numerical scale for expressing the magnitude of an earthquake on the basis of seismogram readings
seismogram A tracing of earthquake motion (paper with squiggly lines)
seismograph The instrument that records vibrations in the ground (writes or prints information on paper)
seismology The study of earthquakes and the structure of the earth, by both naturally and artificially generate
seismometer Instrument buried in the ground to detect earthquake vibrations
S-P interval The time gap between earthquake arrivals, used to calculate distance to the epicenter
surface wave A seismic wave that is trapped in the crust of the earth
S-Wave A seismic wave that shakes the ground back and forth perpendicular to the direction the wave is moving.
triangulation The process of determining the location of a point by measuring angles to it from three known points
tsunami A sea wave caused by large oceanic earthquakes, major submarine slides, or exploding volcanic islands.
Created by: cbonnell81