Why don’t earthquakes occur in Brazil?
- Thursday May 13th, 2021
- Posted by: Amanda Ennes
- Category: Brazil
Even though Brazil is highly affected by floods, fires, landslides, and a few other natural disasters, no significant incidents like earthquakes, volcanos, cyclones, hurricanes, and tsunamis occur in the country. This is all because of tectonic plates and the location of Brazil within the globe.
Earthquakes in Brazil
The tectonic plates are gigantic blocks of the Earth’s crust that float over the uppermost mantle of the planet. They move constantly, getting closer or distancing from each other.
Earthquakes happen because of the movement of these tectonic plates. Nonetheless, they can also occur because of volcanic activities and the collapse of the Earth’s internal structure. The plate motions cause a great amount of energy to accumulate on the surface of the Earth, causing it to tremble.
Brazil, however, is not located on the edge of any tectonic plate. The country actually sits right in on top of the South American plate. As greater quakes are observed more often on the edge of the plates, that is why no significant earthquakes occur in Brazil.
But that does not mean the earth does not shake at all in Brazil. Rather, the seismic shocks observed in the country are mild. Moreover, they do not cause major damages or disasters.
The earth still shakes in Brazil
According to the website Earthquake Track, Brazil experienced 13 earthquakes in the past 365 days. All of them were located on the west side of Brazil, close to Peru and Colombia. In these countries, volcano activity and shock waves are much more common. Also according to the website, most of these earthquakes were considered moderate earthquakes of Magnitude around 4.5.
Researchers state that Magnitude 3 tremors occur twice per month on average in Brazil, while Magnitude 4 tremors happen twice a year. Magnitude 5 tremors, however, only occur once every 50 years in the country.
What we understand from all of these facts is: even though mild earthquakes are still perceived in Brazil, the seismic risk is relatively low in comparison to other South American countries thanks to its location in a stable region within the tectonic plate.