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Earthquakes and Volcanoes Essay Sample

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Earthquakes and Volcanoes Essay Sample

The following is my research for the last week after going to the USGS website to investigate all earthquakes over 2.5+ magnitude worldwide. Analysis In total there were 350 earthquakes with a 2.5+ magnitude worldwide from May 19, 2013 to May 26, 2013. Of those there were only 5 with a magnitude higher than 6.0. Topping the list was an earthquake in the Sea of Okhotsk off the Russian east coast, which came in at a whopping 8.3! From 4.5+ to 6.0 magnitude you still have 119 earthquakes worldwide. I don’t think most people realize how many earthquakes we truly have.

The Most Earthquakes

The country with the most earthquakes in the last 7 days would have to be Russia with 54. This is not surprising since they have the largest land mass of any country, and the also borders the circum-Pacific belt (Lutgens & Tarbuck, 2011, pp.183). Most of these earthquakes occurred near Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, but they also occurred in the Sea of Okhotsk, near Kuil’sk, Vilyuchinsk and Ozernovskiy.

The Most Recent Earthquake

The most recent earthquake was a 4.8 magnitude just south of the Fiji Islands. This was 131.4 km deep, which is considered an intermediate earthquake. This region is also part of the circum-Pacific belt between the Australian and Pacific plates. Due to one plate sliding below the other there is a great deal of seismic activity in this area.

The Depth of Earthquakes

The Sea of Okhostk also had the deepest earthquake, with a depth of 623.0 km. This would be considered a deep earthquake since it exceeds 300 km. The shallowest earthquake(s) occurred in Greenville, California. There was a 0.0 km recorded depth, and these earthquakes appear to be part of the Indian Valley fault, which is on the northern end of the Mohawk Valley fault zone (Klemetti, 2013).

The Closest Earthquake

Not too many earthquakes occur in Colorado, at least none that I have ever heard of. The nearest earthquake to me happened on May 20, 2013 near Luther, Oklahoma. This event measured in at 2.9 magnitude with a depth of 4.5 km. Locals could most definitely feel this one. Something interesting about this one is the fact that it is nowhere near a fault zone, right in the middle of a stable continental plate.


Earthquakes can happen anywhere, and you don’t have to live near a fault zone to experience one. Fault zones are definitely more prone to getting them, to the extent that 95% of all earthquakes occur there (Lutgens & Tarbuck, 2011, pp.183).

Klemetti, E. (2013). Earthquake Swarm Ner Greenville in California. Retrieved from: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/05/earthquake-swarm-near-greenville-in-california/

Lutgens, F. K. and Tarbuck, E. J. (2011). Earth Science (6th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

USGS. (2013). Earthquake Hazards Program. Retrieved from: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/map/

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