The earth is in the stage of constant change. Its crust, also known as the lithosphere, features several moving tectonic plates. These plates can be considered to like pieces of a cracked shell that rest on the hot, molten rock of the mantle of the earth, and snugly fit against one another. Paul Favret mentions that the heat from radioactive processes within the interior of the earth can cause the plates to move. This movement is known as tectonic shift or plate movement.
For any layman, it would be easy to believe that the world is simply an enormous solid object. But that is far from the truth. Earth is actually way more fragmented than a lot more people expect or know. The surface of the planet is split into many different plates, which are known as tectonic plates. One of the most important things to ponder over is that these plates are not always fixed in their place. They do move, although not always perceptibly to people. These movements might be noticed in several ways, starting from a volcanic eruption to major natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis. Such phenomena are caused by tectonic shifts or plate movements.
The sheer mass and size of the content spanning tectonic plates cause colossal amounts of energy to be released. There are many parts of the world where these plates are relatively inactive or stable. On the other hand, there are also many regions where tectonic plates are highly active, particularly what is known as fault lines. These are the areas where distinctive tectonic plates are in contact with each other. A few examples of such areas are the Pacific Ocean, especially near Japan. The west coast of the United States is also one such region. There are many situations that people living in these areas may have to deal with as a consequence of tectonic activity, such as the tsunamis in Japan or the earthquakes that Californians face. Every year, California tends to get two or three earthquakes that are large enough to cause moderate damage to structures.
The consequences of the tectonic shift can be annoying at the best and pretty catastrophic at worst. As the plate shift and collide with other plates or even spread apart from other plates, they can lead to a varying type of results. Earthquakes are the most common and well-known result of tectonic shift. During an earthquake, the ground might violently shake or shudder, causing infrastructural damage and even loss of life. Paul Favret mentions that earthquakes happen in diverse severities across the world, and are measured with the help of highly sensitive global detectors that use the famous Richter scale. These detectors help in understanding how violent an earthquake is, as well as an indication of how major the tectonic activity has been. The academic background of Paul in geology and geophysics helps him to effectively gauge diverse factors associated with tectonic shifts and earthquakes.