By understanding how and where they happen, science can help us prepare for future earthquakes and limit the damage they cause.
Earthquakes can happen without warning, causing death and destruction on a massive scale.
When they strike we feel a sudden, violent shaking of the ground, but they are caused by the slow movement of Earth's tectonic plates. As these plates move, pressure builds until it finally gives way.
What happens below the surface to produce such destructive forces.
Different types of faults can be found at plate boundaries as the plates crack and buckle under enormous pressures.
How seismologists use seismic waves to locate earthquakes.