What makes an earthquake?
  • The Earthís crust moves on the mantle, which is a layer of rock that is partly melted.
  • The earthís crust is made up of about 6 huge slabs called tectonic plates.
  • These tectonic plates are slowly moving on the liquid mantle.
  • As the plates push past each other they make fractures in the earthís crust, which send waves of vibration through the plates from the point of fracture.
  • Earthquakes have two main kinds of waves of vibration. Primary waves that you often hear before you feel and Secondary waves that twist and shake the ground and cause most of the damage.
  Did You Know?
  • Itís the sudden vibrations from an earthquake that causes the damage - not the ground moving.
  • Earthquakes can have more destructive energy than an atomic bomb.
  • New Zealand is in the Pacific earthquake zone called the "Ring of Fire".
  • Earthquakes under the ocean create great waves called Tsunami.
  • The strength of an earthquake is measured on a Richter scale
  • The seismograph measures the seismic vibration of an earthquake.
  • One of the most publicised earthquakes ever recorded in New Zealand happened in 1931 in Napier.
  • The largest earthquake ever recorded in New Zealand happened in 1855, near Wellington and measured 8.2 on the Richter scale!
  • The GNS website has lots of amazing information about earthquakes in New Zealand

    http:// The GNS Website

Find out how:
To move a slinky spring to represent the shock waves of an earthquake.
Some areas of New Zealand are more likely to get earthquakes than others. Talk to your family or teacher about the area you live in. Do you know what to do if an earthquake strikes? Find out, itís handy to know.
Discuss where to get safe drinking water after an earthquake and what kinds of food would be good to have in storage.

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