Based on data from the Sentinel-1A satellite, this image shows how and where the land uplifted and sank from the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on 25 April 2015. The image was generated by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Earth Observation Center (EOC) using data acquired by Sentinel-1A before and after the earthquake event. Image: DLR/EOC.


Sudden movement of a block of the Earth’s crust along a geological fault and associated ground shaking (IRDR Glossary).

Earthquake can be defined as the shaking of earth caused by waves moving on and below the earth's surface and causing: surface faulting, tremors vibration, liquefaction, landslides, aftershocks and/or tsunamis (WHO).


Facts and figures

The size or magnitude of earthquakes is determined by measuring the amplitude of the seismic waves recorded on a seismograph and the distance of the seismograph from the earthquake. These are put into a formula which converts them to a magnitude, which is a measure of the energy released by the earthquake. For every unit increase in magnitude, there is roughly a thirty-fold increase in the energy released. Earthquake magnitude was traditionally measured on the Richter scale. It is often now calculated from seismic moment, which is proportional to the fault area multiplied by the average displacement on the fault (Australian Government).

There are four different types of earthquakes: tectonic, volcanic, collapse and explosion.

  • A tectonic earthquake is one that occurs when the earth's crust breaks due to geological forces on rocks and adjoining plates that cause physical and chemical changes.
  • A volcanic earthquake is any earthquake that results from tectonic forces which occur in conjunction with volcanic activity.
  • A collapse earthquake are small earthquakes in underground caverns and mines that are caused by seismic waves produced from the explosion of rock on the surface.
  • An explosion earthquake is an earthquake that is the result of the detonation of a nuclear and/or chemical device.

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Publishing institution: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Hazards and Population Mapper (HazPop) is a free app that enables users to easily display recent natural hazard data in relationship to population, major infrastructure, and satellite imagery. Hazards data include the location of active fires over the past 48 hours; earthquake alerts over the past seven days; and yesterday′s air pollution data measured from space. The app shows the location of major dams and nuclear power plants and provides more detailed information and imagery for these facilities where available. By drawing a circle around a point or area of interest on the map, users can obtain an estimate of the total population and land area enclosed within., Developed by the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) at Columbia University, HazPop combines data and map layers from various sources including NASA's Land, Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE) and Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and others using a variety of open Web mapping services. The custom population estimates are provided by the SEDAC Population Estimation Service (PES) based on SEDAC′s Gridded Population of the World, version 4 (GPWv4) data for 2015.
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Publishing date: 01/10/2018

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