Earthquakes result when rocks rupture and slide by one another releasing stored energy which travels through the geosphere in the form of waves. Local earthquake risks can be assessed and preparations made to minimize the hazards.
Earth’s dynamic systems are made up of the solid earth (geosphere), the oceans, lakes, rivers, glaciers and ice sheets (hydrosphere), the atmosphere, and organisms (biosphere). Interactions among these spheres have resulted in ongoing changes to the system. Some of these changes can be measured on a human time scale, but others occur so slowly, that they must be inferred from geological evidence.
Earth’s components form systems. These systems continually interact at different rates of time, affecting the Earth locally and globally.