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Elastic Rebound Theory

Elastic rebound theory states that as tectonic plates move relative to each other, elastic strain energy builds up along their edges in the rocks along fault planes.

As the plates are moving against each other, stress (elastic strain energy) is gradually built up along the edges of the plates. Since the plates are huge and their edges span thousands of kilometres, great amounts of energy can be stored.

When there is a sudden release of large amounts of stored energies, an earthquake occurs.


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