Can the ground open up during an earthquake?

Shallow crevasses can form during earthquake-induced landslides, lateral spreads, or other types of ground failures. Faults, however, do not open up during an earthquake. The two faces of a fault move along each other, not away from each other, and it is the locking together and releasing of the two fault faces that causes earthquakes. If faults opened up, no earthquakes would occur because there would be no friction to lock the two faces of the fault together.

Contributing source: USGS

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