Worlds of David Darling
Encyclopedia of Science
   
Home > Encyclopedia of Science

aftershock





aftershocks
The Landers fault (red lines at left) and the Hector Mine fault and its aftershocks (red lines and circles at right). The Hector Mine earthquake was a magnitude 7.1, and it produced thousands of aftershocks. Image credit: Egill Hauksson, Caltech
An earthquake that follows the largest shock of an earthquake sequence. Aftershocks are smaller than the mainshock and within 1–2 fault lengths distance from the mainshock fault. Aftershocks can continue over a period of weeks, months, or years. In general, the larger the mainshock, the larger and more numerous the aftershocks, and the longer they will continue.


Related category

   • GEOLOGY AND PLANETARY SCIENCE

Source: U.S. Geological Survey