Terremoto

Definition

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.

 

UN-SPIDER Regional Support Offices with hazard-specific expertise

Related content on the Knowledge Portal

  • Comprised of three identical Earth observation satellites working together, Canada's RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) provides daily information about the condition of the Earth's surface. Launched on 12 June 2019, the satellites build upon a legacy of Canadian RADARSAT satellites that spans over twenty years. The RCM will ensure that this data remains available to Canadians, and will provide information to assist in areas such as maritime surveillance, disaster management, and ecosystem monitoring. In terms of maritime surveillance, information collected by the RCM contributes to ice, surface wind, oil pollution, and ship monitoring. RCM information can aid disaster management efforts in terms of mitigation, warning, recovery, and response, and can allow for detailed ecosystem monitoring including in the areas of agriculture, wildlife habitat, wetlands, forestry, and coastal change. The constellation's use of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) allows data to be collected day...

    read more
    12/06/2019
  • Carrying a suite of cutting-edge instruments, Sentinel-3 will measure systematically Earth’s oceans, land, ice and atmosphere to monitor and understand large-scale global dynamics. It will provide essential information in near-real time for ocean and weather forecasting.
    The mission is based on two identical satellites orbiting in constellation for optimum global coverage and data delivery. For example, with a swath width of 1270 km, the ocean and land colour instrument will provide global coverage every two days. Sentinel-3B was launched on 25 April 2018.
    With a focus towards our oceans, Sentinel-3 measures the temperature, colour and height of the sea surface as well as the thickness of sea ice. These measurements will be used, for example, to monitor changes in sea level, marine pollution and biological productivity.
    Over land, this innovative mission will provide a bigger picture by monitoring wildfires, mapping the way land is used, provide indices of...

    read more
    25/04/2018
  • Cartosat-2 is an advanced remote sensing satellite with a single panchromatic camera (PAN) capable of providing scene-specific spot imageries for cartographic applications. The camera is designed to provide imageries with better than one meter spatial resolution and a swath of 10 km. The satellite will have high agility with capability to steer along and across the track up to + 45 degrees. It will be placed in a sun-synchronous polar orbit at an altitude of 630 km. It will have a revisit period of four days. The re-visit can be improved to one day with suitable orbit manoeuvres.

    Several new technologies like two mirror on axis single camera, Carbon Fabric Reinforced Plastic based electro optic structure, lightweight, large size mirrors, JPEG like data compression, advanced solid state recorder, high-torque reaction wheels and high performance star sensors are being employed in Cartosat-2.

    Beginning with Cartosat 2C, a Multi-spectral camera was added and...

    read more
    23/06/2017
  • The Sentinels are a fleet of satellites designed specifically to deliver the wealth of data and imagery that are central to the European Commission’s Copernicus programme.
    Sentinel-2 carries an innovative wide swath high-resolution multispectral imager with 13 spectral bands for a new perspective of our land and vegetation. The combination of high resolution, novel spectral capabilities, a swath width of 290 km and frequent revisit times provides unprecedented views of Earth.
    The mission is based on a constellation of two identical satellites in the same orbit, 180° apart for optimal coverage and data delivery. Together they cover all Earth’s land surfaces, large islands, inland and coastal waters every five days at the equator. Sentinel-2B was launched on 7 March 2017.
    As well as monitoring plant growth, Sentinel-2 can be used to map changes in land cover and to monitor the world’s forests. It also provides information on pollution in lakes and...

    read more
    07/03/2017
  • Cartosat-2 is an advanced remote sensing satellite with a single panchromatic camera (PAN) capable of providing scene-specific spot imageries for cartographic applications. The camera is designed to provide imageries with better than one meter spatial resolution and a swath of 10 km. The satellite will have high agility with capability to steer along and across the track up to + 45 degrees. It will be placed in a sun-synchronous polar orbit at an altitude of 630 km. It will have a revisit period of four days. The re-...

    read more
    15/02/2017
  • Peru’s first Earth Observation satellite was commissioned by the Peruvian government for its national space agency, CONIDA (Comisión Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Aeroespacial) in 2014, and constructed in a record time of less than 24 months. PerúSAT-1 features the very-high-resolution optical New AstroSat Optical Modular Instrument (NAOMI) imager designed and developed by Airbus Defence and Space. This silicon carbide optical instrument provides panchromatic images with 70 cm spatial resolution and multispectral images in up to 2 m spatial resolution. PerúSAT-1 is based on Airbus Defence and Space’s AstroBus-S platform, and captures up to 300 images covering an area of 63, 000 km2 per day.

    16/09/2016
  • Cartosat-2 is an advanced remote sensing satellite with a single panchromatic camera (PAN) capable of providing scene-specific spot imageries for cartographic applications. The camera is designed to provide imageries with better than one meter spatial resolution and a swath of 10 km. The satellite will have high agility with capability to steer along and across the track up to + 45 degrees. It will be placed in a sun-synchronous polar orbit at an altitude of 630 km. It will have a revisit period of four days. The re-visit can be improved to one day with suitable orbit manoeuvres.

    Several new technologies like two mirror on axis single camera, Carbon Fabric Reinforced Plastic based electro optic structure, lightweight, large size mirrors, JPEG like data compression, advanced solid state recorder, high-torque reaction wheels and high performance star sensors are being employed in Cartosat-2.

    Beginning with Cartosat 2C, a Multi-spectral camera was added and...

    read more
    22/06/2016
  • Sentinel-1 is a two satellite constellation with the prime objectives of land and ocean monitoring. The goal of the mission is to provide C-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data continuity following the retirement of ERS-2 and the end of the Envisat mission.
    To accomplish this the satellites carry a C-SAR sensor, which offers medium and high resolution imaging in all weather conditiions. The C-SAR is capable of obtaining night imagery and detecting small movement on the ground, which makes it useful for land and sea monitoring.
    Sentinel-1 will work in a pre-programmed operation mode to avoid conflicts and to produce a consistent long-term data archive built for applications based on long time series.
    The mission benefits numerous services. For example, services that relate to the monitoring of Arctic sea-ice extent, routine sea-ice mapping, surveillance of the marine environment, including oil-spill monitoring and ship detection for maritime security,...

    read more
    25/04/2016
  • Carrying a suite of cutting-edge instruments, Sentinel-3 will measure systematically Earth’s oceans, land, ice and atmosphere to monitor and understand large-scale global dynamics. It will provide essential information in near-real time for ocean and weather forecasting.
    The mission is based on two identical satellites orbiting in constellation for optimum global coverage and data delivery. For example, with a swath width of 1270 km, the ocean and land colour instrument will provide global coverage every two days. Sentinel-3A was launched on 16 February 2016.
    With a focus towards our oceans, Sentinel-3 measures the temperature, colour and height of the sea surface as well as the thickness of sea ice. These measurements will be used, for example, to monitor changes in sea level, marine pollution and biological productivity.
    Over land, this innovative mission will provide a bigger picture by monitoring wildfires, mapping the way land is used, provide indices of...

    read more
    16/02/2016
  • The Sentinels are a fleet of satellites designed specifically to deliver the wealth of data and imagery that are central to the European Commission’s Copernicus programme.
    Sentinel-2 carries an innovative wide swath high-resolution multispectral imager with 13 spectral bands for a new perspective of our land and vegetation. The combination of high resolution, novel spectral capabilities, a swath width of 290 km and frequent revisit times provides unprecedented views of Earth.
    The mission is based on a constellation of two identical satellites in the same orbit, 180° apart for optimal coverage and data delivery. Together they cover all Earth’s land surfaces, large islands, inland and coastal waters every five days at the equator. Sentinel-2A was launched on 23 June 2015.
    As well as monitoring plant growth, Sentinel-2 can be used to map changes in land cover and to monitor the world’s forests. It also provides information on pollution in lakes and coastal waters. Images of...

    read more
    23/06/2015

Term Parents

UN-SPIDER Regional Support Offices with hazard-specific expertise