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3.12: Seismic Wave Data Used To Map the Lithosphere

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    Seismic Wave Data Used To Map the Lithosphere

    Earthquake data also reveals the location of major fault zones of the world (Figure 3.18). Many of the fault systems are associated with lithospheric plate boundaries (see discussion below).

    Fault systems evolve and change over time—driven by plate tectonic forces associated mantle convection influencing the rigid lithosphere. Fault systems are often associated with volcanic regions. Faults may form and remain active for long ages before becoming inactive, and then may become reactivated again in some later period. Tectonic forces within the Earth deform rocks through processes of folding and faulting, producing mountains, valleys, and may other landscape features.

    Earthquake map of the world
    Figure 3.18. Map of earthquakes of the world (USGS record for 1978 to 1987).