Nowadays, those words are getting more and more frequents on media, but what are they referring to and how they can affect us?  

The term “fracture” refers just to a crack in the crust where there’s no movement. When two blocks of rock present a movement relative to each other that fracture turns into a fault. That movement can occur in just a couple of seconds or it could happen slowly and may not be perceived by humans.

What happens during an earthquake? 

Frictional forces act as a hinder movement which keeps Earth’s crust stable. Nonetheless, there’s a moment when that energy and stress build up in the rock and leads to a build-up of potential energy in the crust. When that potential exceeds a threshold level, the energy causes a sudden movement of these rocks: the rock on one side of the fault suddenly slips to the other. 

Where can I find a fault? 

A fault length and width range from the microscopical size to hundreds of miles long proportion that can be even visible from outer space, for example, the San Andreas Fault in the state of California.

San Andreas Fault is one of the most famous and studied faults in the world. The fault line lies at the boundary among two continental plates: the North American Plate and the Pacific plate. The movement along the San Andreas fault is frequent, and according to experts, the plates have moved 1.9 to 2.3 inches per year. Sometimes the movement is not even perceptible but some other times is much more devastating, as the past earthquakes in California. 

Why is it important to know this? 

Since fault lines present a frequent movement and activity, it is recommended that structures and buildings as schools, hospitals and companies should not be constructed near them to avoid a greater risk of casualties and destruction in the event of an earthquake. 

Also, experts continue to study the Earth’s geological characteristics and its activity to get a better understanding of the possibility of future earthquakes in specific regions along the faults. 

Information is the first step to prevention. SkyAlert brings you everything you need to know to be prepared in case a natural disaster occurs.

 

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