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Vocabulary 27 - Words Related to Earthquakes
Is a phonograph an instrument used to measure and record the vibrations of earthquakes?

Vocabulary 27 - Words Related to Earthquakes

People in India remember two great calamities that overwhelmed the country in the early 21st Century. In 2004, a great tragedy struck the southeastern coast of India when waves as high as 100 feet crashed into the coast at high speeds and caused immense damage to life and property. Earlier, in the year 2001, a devastating earthquake hit India in the western state of Gujarat in Kutch District and caused havoc among the people in that area, killing over 20,000 people and causing huge damage to property. Both of these tragedies were caused by earthquakes.

Earthquakes are natural occurrences that happen due to the very nature of the structure of the earth. Earthquakes have been studied scientists and they have begun to understand why earthquakes happen and been able to use their knowledge to help humanity to better cope when earthquakes occur.

Earthquakes are phenomena that happen due to the movement of the Earth’s crust beneath its surface. When upheavals happen below the ground the area on the surface above takes a hit which disrupts the normal order. Obviously people and property in the area are seriously affected. The study of earthquakes has created new developments in construction technology which have helped to minimise the damage to property and life caused by earthquakes. Earthquakes have brought the people of the world together and studies on earthquakes are a continuing feature. These studies have contributed immensely to our understanding of nature and also to the English language.

You might have read or heard words such as faults, seismic activity, shallow earthquake, magnitude and severity, all of which are derived from or related to earthquakes. The quiz that follows lets you explore some more words that are closely linked to earthquakes.
1.
Tremors that occur following the main earthquake are called what?
Aftershocks
Shakes
Vibrations
Oscillations
'Aftershocks' occur anytime after the main earthquake and can keep on occurring sporadically. The word has entered the English language to mean 'the consequences of an event', for example "the manager lost his job as an aftershock of the team's defeat".
The other three words all have similar meanings and could be used to describe earthquakes
2.
Earth's outer part that comprises the mantle and the crust is known as what?
The hemisphere
The stratosphere
The ionosphere
The lithosphere
The 'lithosphere' is the Earth's outer part that comprises the mantle and the crust and can be up to 100 kilometers in thickness.
The 'stratosphere' and 'ionosphere' are different parts of the Earth's atmosphere, whilst 'hemisphere' means one of the two parts of the Earth which are separated by the equator - the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere
3.
The largest earthquake in a series is termed the what?
The aftershock
The mainshock
The bigshock
The largeshock
Earthquakes occur in series and the largest earthquake in the series is called the 'mainshock'. 'Aftershocks' occur after the 'mainshock' (see question 1) and 'bigshock' and 'largeshock' are not real words!
4.
What is the name for the sudden movement of land often caused by earthquakes?
A landfill
A landfall
A landslide
A landmark
A 'landslide' occurs when a portion of land, usually on a coast or a hill, slips, slides or falls, often covering homes or people. The word has entered the English language to mean 'a great success', for example "the Labour Party won a landslide victory in the 1997 election".
A 'landmark' is a part of the landscape which is easily identifiable, 'landfall' is when a ship reaches land and a 'landfill' is a place where rubbish is buried
5.
A force that acts on rocks to change its volume or shape is called what?
Centrifugal
Centripetal
Strain
Stress
'Stress' is the force that acts on the rock to change its volume or shape leading to an earthquake.
'Strain' has a similar meaning but is not used to describe earthquake activity.
'Centrifugal' and 'centripetal' are forces which cause objects to move in a straight path or a curved path respectively. They are related to the study of flight and space rather than to earthquakes
6.
The point from where the shock waves of an earthquake radiate is called what?
The epicentre
The geocentre
The corecentre
The maincentre
The area around the 'epicentre' is the area where the earthquake causes the greatest damage to life and property. The word has entered the English language as the centre point of any activity, for example "Paris is the epicentre of French culture"
7.
The term used to refer to the forces acting on the Earth triggering the movements of the crust is called what?
Seismic
Tectonic
Technic
Traumatic
When the 'tectonic shift' is huge earthquakes are massive. The word has entered the English language to mean a great change, for example, "the election of a black President was a tectonic shift in American politics"
8.
The instrument used to measure and record the vibrations of earthquakes is called what?
A phonograph
A seismograph
An electrograph
A photograph
Readings from a minimum of three seismographs located in three different locations across the Earth are required to identify the place where the earthquake has occurred, and also to measure its strength.
An 'electrograph' is a line traced by an electric device, a 'photograph' is a picture taken by a camera and a 'phonograph' is an old device used to play records!
9.
A large sea wave produced by earthquakes occurring under the sea is known as what?
A tsunami
A hurricane
A cyclone
A tornado
'Tsunamis' are a result of a massive earthquake occurring under the sea bed causing the water above to travel at high speeds and strike a coast in the form of large waves which can damage life and property.
'Hurricanes', 'cyclones' and 'tornados' are all violent forms of wind
10.
The energy released by an earthquake is measured on what scale?
The Richter Scale
The Farenheit Scale
The Celsius Scale
The Kelvin Scale
The 'Richter scale' or the 'Richter magnitude scale' was developed in the 1930s by Charles Richter. It is a logarithmic scale where a 7 would be ten times stronger than a 6 or a hundred times stronger than a 5 and so on.
'Farenheit', 'Celsius' and 'Kelvin' are all scales used to measure temperature
Author:  V T Narendra

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