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Science 2-2

Earthquakes and Seismic Waves

TermDefinition
Earthquake Shaking and trembling that results from the movement of rock beneath Earth’s surface.
Focus The area beneath Earth’s surface where rock that is under stress breaks, triggering an earthquake.
Epicenter The point on the surface directly above the focus
P-waves Seismic waves that compress and expand the ground like an accordion.
S-waves Seismic waves that vibrate from side to side as well as up and down.
Surface Waves Move more slowly than P waves and S waves, but they can produce severe ground movements.
Mercalli Scale To rate earthquakes according to the level of damage at a given place.
Magnitude A number that geologists assign to an earthquake based on the earthquake’s size.
Richter Scale A rating of an earthquake’s magnitude based on the size of the earthquake’s seismic waves.
Moment Magnitude Scale A rating system that estimates the total energy released by an earthquake.
Locating the epicenter Scientists find three areas and locate how far the earthquake is from the place and draw circles that far and the three circles that intersect is where the epicenter is.
Created by: olrobinson