Earthquake: Foreshock—Mainshock—Aftershock

There is often confusion surrounding the terminology of earthquakes. Large earthquakes are usually followed by hundreds and even thousands of smaller earthquakes, called aftershocks. In some earthquake sequences, a smaller earthquake called a “foreshock”, precedes the mainshock. Although seismologists have carefully analyzed foreshock/mainshock pairs of earthquakes, and earthquake triggering in general, there are no special characteristics of a foreshock that let us know it is a foreshock until the mainshock occurs. Rate of aftershocks was first studied in detail by Fusakichi Omori, Chairman of Seismology at Imperial University of Tokyo; one of the most important figures in the history of seismology.

Total Time: 6min 32s
Level: Novice

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