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What is an “earthquake swarm”? Differentiate them with the regular Earthquakes and explain in what way they have a different impact.

Topic: Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location-changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

2. What is an “earthquake swarm”? Differentiate them with the regular Earthquakes and explain in what way they have a different impact. (250 words)

Reference: Economic Times 

Why the question:

The question is from the static portions of GS paper I. Hundreds of earthquakes ranging from 2.5 to 4.9 magnitudes have been rattling California recently thus the context of the question.

Key Demand of the question:

Explain the concept of Earthquake swarms and state how they are different from the regular earthquakes and discuss their impact.

Directive:

Differentiate – provide for a detailed comparison of the two types, their features that are similar as well as different. One must provide for detailed assessment of the two.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Define Earthquake swarms.

Body:

Discuss the concept in general – Earthquake swarms are a sequence of mostly small earthquakes with no identifiable main shock. Swarms are usually short-lived, but they can continue for days, weeks, or sometimes even months. They are many times too subtle for people to notice. However, it is important to note that they are not aftershocks, which happen after a large main shock.

Explain how they are different from regular earthquakes. Suggest what needs to be done to mitigate the effect of Earthquake swarms while discussing their differential impact.

Conclusion:

Conclude with need to understand and take measures to overcome their impact.