Explanation of Earthquakes for the Layman [PICS]

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Recently, Christchurch and Japan had terrible earthquakes with lots of after shocks. Some were thought to be oscillatory, while others were believed to be trepidatory. It occurred to me that most people might be confused about this, so I thought it wise to let everyone know the difference.

What's the difference between an oscillatory and a trepidatory earthquake?

1. This calculation is just for engineers:

2. And this one is for laymen:

This is a trepidatory earthquake -- an up and down movement.....

This is an oscillatory earthquake -- a side to side movement...

And this is a combination of both trepidatory and oscillatory:

Isn't science beautiful when properly explained?

October 30, 2011 4794

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