Question: What is your opinion about earthquakes? You think that the humans are involved in activity of the nature?

  1. Earthquakes are really amazing, but I bet they are really scary to live through! Most earthquakes are caused naturally, they happen when tectonic plates move against each other. But sometimes you can have earthquakes which are caused by humans. There have been man-made earthquakes happening in the USA and the UK recently as a result of fracking – a new way to collect oil from the ground. Workers push water into the ground to break up the rocks and release oil and gas, but as they break the rocks, it can cause earthquakes to happen. So far they haven’t been too big, but it’s still quite scary!


  2. Hi ammy2001!

    That’s a good question – asking for our opinions on earthquakes. When I talk to my colleages I often say something like “I am passionate about earthquakes”. But what I mean is, that I find the processes of how and why earthquakes happen incredibly interesting! Rocks that move and deform, thats really exciting for me.

    But earthquakes themselves are scary to lots of people and can also be very dangerous. So wherever a big earthquake happens I read and watch the news to see if anybody was injured.

    Rhian is right, nearly all of the earthquakes are natural, and only very few are due to human activity. It’s not only getting oil or gas from the subsurface, it can also be related to geothermal energy (that is basically hot temperatures in the subsurface that we can use for heating and electricity). Or even dams, which are built to collect fresh water for our everyday use!
    In most cases, earthquakes induced hy human activities are rather small and do not harm anybody. But scientists and politicians have to watch those activities closely and make sure that nothing worse happens in the future.

    All the best,


  3. Hi ammy2001,

    Earthquakes are as scary as cool, don’t you think? I think humans feel passion for everything that it is difficult to control, and Earthquakes are definitely! It is almost impossible to predict them and ever more impossible to predict the consequences.

    Humans are part of the ecosystems and we are specially “dangerous” because we like to modify the Earth in our please. We have being pushing the Earth into global warming and we have perform activities as the ones described by Rhian and Andi that can produce small and localized earthquakes. Part of our job as Earth scientists is to make the governments think about the consequences of different politics (like using fracking or building dams, trains etc in non-stable areas) and the potential risk that are associated to those politics.



  4. Hi!
    I definitely agree with the others, earthquakes are such a fascinating natural phenomenon.
    I was born in a pretty seismic country (Italy), so I have experienced quite a few of those, sometimes pretty strong ones, and they are always a bit scary. Now that I live in the UK, I haven’t felt an earthquake in a long time, since there are virtually none over here. At least none of the natural type.
    However, as Rihan has already pointed out, there have recently been some earthquakes even in the UK and these have probably been caused by fracking and hydrocarbon exploration activities.
    I’m not sure if the evidence for these new events is 100% against human activities, but I also believe that we should be really careful with this. The idea of man-made earthquakes, even if small ones, is quite scary also in my opinion!



  1. Thanksanks for the answer.:-)