Asked a different way, is most of the damage done by the many little earthquakes or by the few big earthquakes? , A., Most of the damage is done by the many, little earthquakes. B., Earthquakes only damage Coke machines, under an exclusive contract with Pepsi. C., Most of the damage is done by the few, big earthquakes. D., The drop-off in frequency just balances the rise in energy, so all earthquake sizes contribute equally to global earthquake damages. E., Earthquakes don’t do any damage, so this is a silly question. An increase of 1 in magnitude increases ground shaking about 10-fold, increases energy release about 30-fold, and decreases frequency about 10-fold; the 30-fold increase in energy more than offsets the 10-fold decrease in frequency of occurrence. We wish earthquakes did no damage, but the millions of people who have been killed in earthquakes over the centuries would, if they could, testify to the damage done by earthquakes. And earthquakes are actually very poor at distinguishing the brands of soda dispensed by or advertised on machines. , Points Earned:, 1/1 Your Response:, C 11., It would be really nice to know whether an earthquake is coming, so we could prepare for it. At this time, we are able to: , A., Say positively that no earthquake will ever occur in the Penn State area. B., Say nothing; scientists have supplied no useful information on earthquake occurrence. C., Watch animals and water levels in wells, and whenever the water levels bounce in the wells and the animals act strangely, an earthquake is coming. D., Make reasonably accurate estimates of where earthquake damage is likely, and how bad earthquake damage is likely to be, but not exactly when an earthquake will occur. E., Predict where earthquakes will occur, but not when; however, we’re positive that in the near future we’ll be able to predict the “when” with high accuracy as well. By keeping track of where earthquakes happen, combing written and oral histories of past earthquakes, looking at geological deposits to see where shaking has occurred and broken rocks or tree roots or caused sand boils, and measuring where rocks are moving and where they aren’t, good estimates can be made of earthquake hazards; but, we can’t figure out exactly when the next quake will hit. It is possible (but unproven!) that animals do act strangely before a quake, and it is known that water levels in wells may change as the ground begins to break and fail before some quakes, but water levels in wells can change for lots of reasons, and animals act strangely for lots of reasons. But knowing where quakes are likely is useful; it is wise to build things to withstand the events that are likely to occur, but not to spend too much money preparing for events that are highly unlikely over the life of the building.