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Leaving Cert Geography Help!!!

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 2 grainnem95

    Hi I'm going into sixth year but missed the majority of the majority of the year so I'm trying to learn myself but I came across a question and I literally have no idea how to answer it. The question is Explain how a study of plate tectonics helps us understand the occurrence of earthquakes? Can someone please explain in great detail how to answer this?


  • Well you could say where two plates are moving or grinding against one another you can get increased occurrence of earthquakes (San Andreas fault). Or where one plate is subducting under another plate it may get stuck, pressure builds up and there is a sudden slip or movement causing a big earthquake (I think this is what happened in Aceh 2004 and the subsequent tsunami). But where two plates are spreading apart earthquakes may not be as common or severe (mid-atlantic). So in other words, if you can understand what type of tectonic plate you are on and whether you are close to the boundary of the plate you may be able to make an assumption as to the frequency and severity of earthquakes. But of course you can never predict exactly when an earthquake will occur.

    Of course the above is based on my leaving cert geography of 30 years ago which is getting a good bit hazy now – there are professional geologists on this forum I suppose who can give a better answer. And I hope they don’t tear strips of me for the above simplification…

  • Thanks so much