Scientists call the places where earth movement has left cracks in the surface rock faults. Since earthquakes happen at places where two tectonic plates touch, or converge, quakes will recur in the same area time and again.
For instance, the San Andreas Fault in the United States is a 650-mile (1,040-kilometer) long, 20-mile (32- kilometer) deep fracture in Earth’s crust running from the Mexican border northward into California. It is the area where the North American tectonic plate and the Pacific Ocean plate collide.
Different earthquake faults cause distinctive land formations. Normal and reverse faults result in ridges. Sections of land between two faults are called horsts when land is thrust upwards and grabens when it drops down.
As a result of the Missouri quake in 1811 (the strongest earthquake ever to hit the continental United States) the Mississippi River changed its course.