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Describe the tectonic cycle

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Describe the tectonic cycle

Category: Essay

Subcategory: Geology

Level: College

Pages: 2

Words: 550

The Tectonic Cycle
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The Tectonic Cycle
One of the most disastrous and most significantly recent earthquakes was the March 2011 earthquake that occurred in Japan. The quake was referred to as the Tohoku earthquake. The earthquake was later discovered to have caused the Hamdori Fukushima earthquake as an aftershock. The earthquake was measured to have an estimated 9.0 magnitude according to the Richter scale. Since then, it has been considered as the third most massive earthquake recorded in the surface of the earth during the last decade. The tremor was as a result of the slipping of the Pacific plate under Japan. The USGS recorded that the Tohoku tremor had an epicenter 80 miles of the Sendai coast. Prior to the earthquake, the Pacific plate had been continually shifting as it proceeded west at an estimated rate of 3.5 inches per annum. The movement caused a pressure buildup that eventually erupted when the overhead plate broke away from the Pacific plate. The breakup released an estimated 1.9 X 1017 Joules of energy which generated the subsequent tsunami. The tsunami reached an estimated height of 38 meters. Consequently, the Tohoku earthquake caused a shift of the Japanese landscape. The Honshu Island is recorded to have shifted its position towards North America with 12 feet. The 200-mile eastern Japanese coastline also moved its position southwards with a few feet. The overall inertia of the tremor caused a shift in the earth’s …

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