Descriptions Of Earthquakes From Convergent Margins

The world's largest earthquakes, often called "great" earthquakes, with magnitudes larger than 9, occur along convergent plate margins, especially where one oceanic plate is being subducted beneath a continental plate. This type of configuration leads to huge regions being stressed, or "bent" into a position where regions measuring hundreds of miles (hundreds of km) in length and many tens of miles (km) in depth may suddenly slip in one earthquake event, typically releasing more energy than all the other earthquakes on the planet for many years. For example, the 2004 Sumatra earthquake released more energy than all of the other earthquakes on the planet in the past 30 years. In this section some of these huge convergent margin earthquakes are described to give an understanding of the power of these events in shaping the Earth's surface. In the United States Alaska and the Pacific Northwest are the regions most at-risk for experiencing future convergent margin earthquakes.

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