KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – How do earthquakes happen? WATE 6 Storm Team’s Matt Hinkin breaks it down.
Most earthquakes are caused built up stress along faults, fractures in the earth’s crust.
There are three types of faults:
- Normal – one block moves down, due to forces pulling the blocks apart
- Reverse – compression, pushing the sides of the fault together
- Transcurrnet or strike-slip fault — side-to-side movement along the fault line
Knoxville is in the the East Tennessee Seismic Zone and most earthquakes in the region are small and typically can’t be felt.
Scientists have developed early warning systems that can provide alerts of earthquakes seconds or minutes before they occur. Scientists can also estimate the probability of future earthquakes in a particular location, aiding the design of roads and buildings.
This article is part of the WATE 6 Storm Weather School.