The surface of the Earth is made up of tectonic plates that lie beneath both the land and oceans of our planet. The movements of these plates can build mountains or cause volcanoes to erupt. The clash of these plates can also cause violent earthquakes, where Earth’s surface shakes. Earthquakes are more common in some parts of the world than others, because some places, like California, sit on top of the meeting point, or fault, of two plates. When those plates scrape against each other and cause an earthquake, the results can be deadly and devastating.
Learn more about earthquakes with this curated collection of classroom resources.