continent: (in geology) The large land lots that sit upon tectonic plates. In fashionable instances, there are six established geologic continents: North America, South America, Eurasia, Africa, Australia and Antarctica. In 2017, scientists additionally made the case for yet one more: Zealandia.

earthquake: A sudden and typically violent shaking of the bottom, typically inflicting nice destruction, because of actions inside Earth’s crust or of volcanic motion.

hydraulic fracturing, or fracking:  The cracking open of underground rocks by introducing liquid at excessive strain, particularly to extract pure gasoline. These cracks are then held open by sand that had been added to the fracking fluid.

magnitude: (in geology) A quantity used to explain the relative dimension of an earthquake. It runs from 1 to greater than 8 and is calculated by the height floor movement as recorded by seismographs. There are a number of magnitude scales. One of many extra generally used ones at this time is called the second magnitude. It’s primarily based on the dimensions of a fault (crack in Earth’s crust), how a lot the fault slips (strikes) throughout a quake, and the vitality drive that was required to allow that motion. For every enhance in magnitude, an earthquake produces 10 instances extra floor movement and releases about 32 instances extra vitality. For perspective, a magnitude 8 quake can launch vitality equal to detonating 6 million tons of TNT. (in astronomy) A measure of a star brightness.

tectonic: Floor exercise on a big rocky physique (corresponding to a planet or moon) as liquid rock flows as much as the floor the place it solidifies, then slowly drifts atop molten rock, carrying floor options with it.

tectonic plates: The big slabs — some spanning 1000’s of kilometers (or miles) throughout — that make up Earth’s outer layer.

tsunami: One or many lengthy, excessive sea waves attributable to an earthquake, submarine landslide or different disturbance.

volcano: A spot on Earth’s crust that opens, permitting magma and gases to spew out from underground reservoirs of molten materials. The magma rises via a system of pipes or channels, typically spending time in chambers the place it bubbles with gasoline and undergoes chemical transformations. This plumbing system can turn into extra advanced over time. This may end up in a change, over time, to the chemical composition of the lava as properly. The floor round a volcano’s opening can develop right into a mound or cone form as successive eruptions ship extra lava onto the floor, the place it cools into laborious rock.

wastewater: Any water that has been used for some function (corresponding to cleansing) and not is clear or protected sufficient to be used with out some sort of therapy. Examples embrace the water that goes down the kitchen sink or bathtub or water that has been utilized in manufacturing some product, corresponding to a dyed material.

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