Earthquakes Case Study:
An earthquake is a number of the underground seismic waves, which are caused by the natural factors (primarily, tectonic processes), and sometimes artificial processes (explosions, the filling of the water reservoirs, collapse of the deep mines, etc). Slight seismic waves also can be caused by the raise of lava during the volcanic eruption. Every year there are more than a million of earthquakes occur on the planet but most of them are so insignificant that remain unnoticed.
Serious earthquakes which can cause considerable damage occur approximately once a fortnight. Most of such strong earthquakes occur on the bottom of the oceans, that is why there are no serious destructions. On the other hand, if there is a strong earthquake in the ocean quite close to a continent or any land (island, subcontinent) there is a possibility of tsunami (extremely high and fast waves coming from an ocean to the land destroying everything on their way), which can be even more dangerous than the earthquake itself.
The power of the earthquakes can be strong enough to ruin buildings and roads. The history knows very strong earthquakes which managed to destroy big cities and kill thousands of people. The power of earthquakes is measured with the help of the special appliances, called seismometers, so when there is a release of the energy in the crust of Earth, seismometers report its strength according to the scale from 1 to 12. The seismic waves up to the 5th point are considered to be slight and moderate, 6 and 7 – strong, 8 and 9 – destructive and devastating, from 10 to 12 – catastrophic.
Earthquakes have always interested and scared people, so it is important to know at least basic information about their origin and the factors which cause them. A student who is asked to analyze a problem for the case study based on earthquakes should devote much time to collect enough data for the research. It is important to know whether people were prepared for the earthquake and what their behaviour was. A student should learn the reason of the occurred problem and analyze its consequences. If one analyzes the effect of an earthquake, he should provide the professor with the strength of the earthquake, ruins and the number of victims. In the end one should try to think over the methods and techniques which could prevent the problem and solve it.
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