Why do earthquakes happen? main content.

Why do earthquakes happen?

Part of Hall of Planet Earth.

Why Do Earthquakes Happen? AMNH/R.Mickens

Exhibition Text

In 1906, the seismologist Henry Reid developed the “elastic rebound theory” to explain earthquakes. When rocks begin to press against each other, they initially bend, like a spring, to accommodate the opposing forces. Eventually, when the rocks reach a point where they cannot bend further, they break. The bent rocks snap back, or rebound, to their