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Scientific discipline concerned with the study of earthquakes and of the propagation of seismic waves. A branch of geophysics, it has provided much information about the composition and state of the planet's interior. Recent work has focused on predicting earthquakes in hopes of minimizing the risk to humans. Seismologists have also studied quakes induced by human activitiessuch as impounding water behind high dams, injecting fluids into deep wells, and detonating underground nuclear explosionsin an effort to find ways of controlling natural earthquakes.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on seismology, visit Britannica.com.