- a series of vibrations induced in the earth’s crust by the abrupt rupture and rebound of rocks in which elastic strain has been slowly accumulating.
- something that is severely disruptive; upheaval.
- a sudden release of energy in the earth’s crust or upper mantle, usually caused by movement along a fault plane or by volcanic activity and resulting in the generation of seismic waves which can be destructiveRelated adjective: seismic
- A sudden movement of the Earth’s lithosphere (its crust and upper mantle). Earthquakes are caused by the release of built-up stress within rocks along geologic faults or by the movement of magma in volcanic areas. They are usually followed by aftershocks. See Note at fault.
A tremor of the surface of the Earth, sometimes severe and devastating, which results from shock waves generated by the movement of rock masses deep within the Earth, particularly near boundaries of tectonic plates. (See fault, Richter scale, and seismology.)