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 Home » Tutorials » Geology » Glossary

Glossary


A D V E R T I S E M E N T
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GLOSSARY

This glossary includes words commonly used to describe the nature of earthquakes, how they occur, and their effects, as well as a discussion of the instruments used to record earthquake motion.

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A D V E R T I S E M E N T


Each word or phrase that is in bold print in the text is explained in this glossary.

Accelerograph

A seismograph whose output is proportional to ground acceleration (in comparison to the usual seismograph whose output is proportional to ground velocity). Accelerographs are typically used as instruments designed to record very strong ground motion useful in engineering design; seismographs commonly record off scale in these circumstances. Normally, strong motion instruments do not record unless triggered by strong ground motion.

Aftershock

One of many earthquakes that often occur during the days to months after some larger earthquake (mainshock) has occurred. Aftershocks occur in the same general region as the mainshock and are believed to be the result of minor readjustments of stress at places in the fault zone.

Amplitude



The amplitude of a seismic wave is the amount the ground moves as the wave passes by. (As an illustration, the amplitude of an ocean wave is one-half the distance between the peak and trough of the wave. The amplitude of a seismic wave can be measured from the signal recorded on a seismogram.)

Aseismic creep

Movement along a fracture in the Earth that occurs without causing earthquakes. This movement is so slow that it is not recorded by ordinary seismographs.

Collision

A term sometimes applied to the convergence of two plates in which neither plate subducts. Instead, the edges of the plates crumple and are severely deformed.





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