The German GeoForschungsZentrum (GFZ) open_in_new in Potsdam operates a worldwide network of almost 80 stations where seismometers record ground vibrations. Overall, there are only a few of these global networks, but they all work closely together. The denser the measuring network, the faster the location of the earthquake center and the strength of the quake can be determined. The seismometer network GEOFON of the German Research Center for Geosciences stands for GEOForschungsNetzwerk. You can find current global earthquake reports on the GFZ website open_in_new.

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What are earthquakes and how are they generated?

Earthquakes are fracture processes in the rock that cause tremors on the earth's surface. Most of the damaging earthquakes to date have tectonic origins (tectonic earthquakes). They are caused by a sudden displacement along a fracture surface in the earth's crust and the resulting release of the accumulated elastic energy. These fracture zones are mainly found at the plate boundaries. Research also speaks of so-called tectonic shifts. In addition to the tectonic causes, there are other causes of earthquakes such as the mining of raw materials. This often leaves underground cavities (e.g. hard coal mining, oil production) that can collapse due to tectonic shifts. One speaks here of man-made earthquakes or induced seismicity. Another cause of earthquakes can also be volcanism. Source: Questions and answers about earthquakes open_in_new on open_in_new

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Last updated at: 28.02.2023