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More than 500,000 times a year, the Earth’s crust shakes suddenly due to an earthquake. Many are slight and would be easy to sleep through, but others cause devastation and kill thousands – mostly under collapsing buildings.

By studying earthquake regions and damage, geoscientists help save lives – warning those at risk, showing them how to prepare and to protect themselves, and advising on the siting, design and construction of buildings. We have a number of resources relating to earthquakes, which are available to view by clicking on the links on the right hand side and below.


Watch online

Watch Online!

Watch the presentations from our Shell London Lecture series, all related to volcanoes. To view more of our other presentations visit our YouTube channel.


earthquake mapHow do earthquakes happen? Where are they most likely to occur? How are they measured?

Download the Earthquakes Fact Sheet


million death quakeMillion death quake

Seismologist Roger Musson discusses the uncertainties still surrounding the public understanding of earthquakes.


 metropolis globe.jpgGeology in the age of Man

January Shell Lecturer James Jackson talks earthquake prediction.


seismogram_60x60.jpgGeological Hazards - Home and Away

Ian Main explains why earthquake prediction can be so difficult, and what else geologists can do to help protect communities.


concepcion_60x60.jpgGround Shaking Research

Prof Richard Sibson, winner of the 2010 Wollaston Medal, explains why earthquakes appear to be getting worse.

Online Resource

plate tectonics map Visit our online resource on plate tectonics, aimed at students aged 14 - 16.

See the distribution of earthquakes on a map, learn how the theory of plate tectonics has developed, what happens at different plate margins, and the tectonic history of the UK.

Ask a Geologist!

If you have a question about earthquakes, try our Ask a Geologist service! All you have to do is send an email to stating your question and we will try to find an answer among our 10,000-strong Fellowship.

October 2015 Afghanistan Earthquake


Find out more about the 26 October, magnitude 7.5, earthquake in northern Afghanistan.