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a movement of trembling of the ground that is caused by a sudden release of energy when rocks along a fault move

elastic rebound

the sudden return of elastically deformed rock to its undeformed shape


the location within Earth along a fault at which the first motion of an earthquake occurs


the point on Earth's surface directly above an earthquake's starting point

body wave

in geology, a seismic wave that travels through the body of a meduim

surface wave

travels along the surface of a body rather than through the middle

P wave

a wave that cause rock to move back-and-forth direction parallel

s wave

shear wave that causes particles of rock to move in a side-to-side direction

shadow zone

anarea on Earth's surface where no direct seismic waves from a particular earthquake can be detected

convergent boundary

plates move toward each other and collide while the denser plate subducts

divergent boundary

plates that move away from each other

continental boundary

two continental plates converge,diverge, or move horizontally in opposite direction

fault zone

a region of numerous closely spaced faults


a measure of the strength of an earthquake


a giant ocean wave that forms after a volcanic eruption, submarine earthquake, or landslide

seismic waves

vibrations that travel outward in all directions from the focus through the surrounding rock

rayleigh waves

causes the ground to move with an elliptical, rolling motion

Richter scale

measures the ground motion of an earthquake

moment magnitude

measurement of earthquake strength based on the size of the area of the fault that moves

Mercalli scale

expresses intensity of an earthquake in Roman numerals from I to XII

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