Most earthquakes occur along plate boundaries and arise from the frictional strain between lithospheric plates. The energy released during ruptures is transmitted through earth as seismic waves. Research on such waves with varying properties provides important information the earth's interior.
The worldwide distribution of earthquakes can be explained in the context of plate tectonics, and this model also allows researchers to determine the long-term, general probability for future earthquake events and earthquake-related hazards. However, is not possible to predict when and where earthquakes will occur.
Shallow earthquakes may result in faulting at the surface, and may cause extensive damage to man-made structures if the movement is large. Severe damage may also result from the energy released from the depths of the earth and transmitted to the surface by seismic waves. Large submarine earthquakes may cause tsunamis that have devastating effects on populated coastal areas very far from the site of the earthquake.
NORSAR and University of Bergen
Small earthquakes may occur far from plate boundaries. Although the activity in Norway is moderate, a few earthquakes are felt by the human population each year. Very few past earthquakes have caused damage to buildings and infrastructure.
The seismic activity in Norway and adjoining areas is monitored by NORSAR and the University of Bergen.