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Dangerous and Natural Energy

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To understand the concept of the natural energy at hand, first we must understand the meaning of earthquake and its nature in terms of how it occurs. According to the scientific studies (Spence, William, 1989), an earthquake refers to the shaky effect that occurs due to release of energy from the earth’s crust which is mostly caused by sleeping of tectonic plates past each other. There are three common types of faults that are likely to cause an earthquake and they are brought out as normal, reverse (thrust) and strike-slip. According to the United States map on possible occurences of earthquakes, it can be seen that the coastal region of the northwest of the continent is more prone to earthquakes than any other region. The pattern reduces as it goes into the dry areas, thus, meaning that the people living around the states of Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico are free from risks posed by earthquakes. According to the map, the place where I live (Kansas City) is less prone to earthquakes since the most recent earthquake occurred at Tennessee, some distance from where I live and also its color is white

From the map, the least hit places in the past one week are mostly located far from the coast. This, therefore, means that states located far from coastal regions are free from the risks associated with earthquakes. In-depth analysis reveals that the North western coast experiences turbulent seismic activities. In the past 10000 years alone, the region has witnessed numerous powerful earthquakes measuring above 8.2 on the Richter scale. These earthquakes are estimated to have to generally occur around every 500 years. Scientists have discovered more evidence through excavations to corroborate the fact that the Cascadian zone has a dense tectonic network.      US geology survey (2011) Affirms that the distribution of the occurrence of earthquakes is rampant along coastal regions. The table further indicates that most tectonic activities are common along coastal areas with the highest occurrences recorded in the eastern region of Asia and Australia, followed by the North West part of the American continent and the lower parts of Europe. This shows that Africa has experienced none or least cases of earthquakes. This is also evidenced in the USGS earthquake program. From the map, the latest places to record a red mark are mostly located in Eastern Asia and, thus, this region is more prone to frequent earthquakes than any other part in the world. From the map, there is an earthquake that occurred in Colombia, on Thursday 1st March 2011with a magnitude of 4.8. The exact location lies at 4.284°N, 76.503°W with a recorded depth of 91.3km.

According to US department of interior (2009), it is difficult to live in the red areas since the rate and magnitude of earthquake destruction in this areas is high. In my opinion I would prefer to live regions that are list exposed to earthquakes like for instance, Africa. Incase of a state where I was to relocate to a red zone area, there are various USGS resources that could help me prepare for an earthquake and, thus, be in position to protect my family. This is because the resources provide helpful tips which can help a person escape dangers caused by earth tremors.  From the list of recent occurrence of earthquakes, it is clear that the occurrence of strong earthquake with a magnitude of above 7.2 occurred in west coast of Sumatra on 10th January. However, the most recent earthquakes are recorded to have occurred on 2nd march in Indonesia with a magnitude of 5.2. The list does not specifically contain the latest occurrence of the earthquakes such as the one in Haiti and Japan. This means the power of science in controlling the occurrence of earthquakes is minimal and, thus, there is need to upgrade the updating systems in this field. From the list of most dangerous earthquakes, the most recent is the one that hit Japan on March 2011 with a magnitude of 9.0, an estimate of 15,703 lives were claimed. The other one was  the one that hit Haiti with a magnitude of 8.5 where 316000 people were killed. The power to control earthquakes by use of science is not really helpful since if it was possible, then these deaths could have been avoided by informing people in advance about such occurrence.

In relation to predicting the occurrence of the earthquakes, scientists have not been able to predict earthquakes perfectly. They can only determine the occurrence and magnitude of the previous earthquakes. The occurrence of earthquakes is recorded by scientific instruments known as seismographs and the recordings they make are referred toseismograms (Wyss, 1979). The process of measuring the magnitude of the earthquake occurs in such that a seismograph is basically made in such a way that it can be able to detect the waves without being destroyed by the shaking. Basically, it has a base that is set in the ground and on the upper part. It is mounted by an intense weight that suspends loosely. The force degenerates occurrence of earth tremors, thus, causing the ground to shake. The seismograph’s base vibrates too, but the hanging mass does not and the string or spring that the weight is hanging from is able to absorb all the movement.

The intensity of an earthquake that hits a place relies on the extent of the fault and the quantity of slip on the fault. This is something that scientists cannot merely calculate with a measuring tape. The reason being that the faults are numerous kilometers deep underneath the earth’s surface and there are no instruments to gauge that. In measuring earthquakes, scientists use recordings made on the seismograph to determine how large or small the earthquake was by the use of the wave that is recorded in the instrument (Sibson, 2002).

The difference between geological and biological energy is that the geological energy such as earthquakes occurs, as a result, of natural disruption that causes release of mechanical energy while, on the other hand, biological energy such as the calorie conversion occurs in a way that energy from the sun is stored in plants and once consumed, the process of absorption of food releases chemical energy which forms the calorie content. Thus, in general geological energy is produced mechanically, while biological energy contains chemical energy. The only similarity is that both have exothermic processes and they both cause some action to occur during their conversion from one form to another.

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