How do geologists determine if it's an aftershock instead of another earthquake?

After the 5.8 quake that was centered in Virginia, several aftershocks were recorded, with magnitudes considerably lower than the initial earthquake. The Pacific Coast of the U.S. (and the Western Pacific Ocean, for that matter) experiences frequent seismic activity, much of it too weak to be detected by humans.

How do scientists determine what is an aftershock and what is a whole new earthquake?

4 Answers

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  • Alex
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    If it's smaller than the first one, then it's an aftershock. It doesn't necessarily have to be on the same fault. If it's bigger, then the original one is considered a foreshock.

  • cave
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    there is not any distinction between an "earthquake" and an "aftershock". An aftershock is in basic terms a weaker earthquake that follows the unique seismic experience. The epicenter of aftershocks at the instant are not constantly in the comparable region because of the fact the unique quake. Aftershocks are smaller quakes that happen because of the fact the displaced fault shifts to handle the end results of the considerable ask your self. Had the 2d quake been better than the 1st, it could have been denoted because of the fact the "earthquake", and the unique possible have been relabeled a "foreshock".

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    They never really know for sure but there isn't usually 1 earthquake after another but even if there was it would probably still be called an aftershock since it was after the original earthquake. Hope this helps!!

  • 9 years ago

    They determine it by how deep inside the earth it is.

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