The chicken or the egg?: Earthquakes and plate tectonics

Earth's Crust
August 7, 2018

It is often said that earthquakes occur as a result of plate tectonics: when two plates collides or go through each other at plate boundaries, earthquakes occur. In a new paper published in Scientific Reports, Karato and Barbot suggest that earthquakes may not only be the results of plate tectonics but earthquakes make plate tectonics possible: if earthquakes do not occur, plates are too strong and plate tectonics would be impossible. Earthquakes occur on Earth, but their model predicts that there are no quakes on Venus and this will explain why plate tectonics occurs on Earth but not on Venus. For details see: