1 post • joined Friday 18th March 2011 12:24 GMT
Just to be picky, Japan's northern island of Honshu sits on a very far corner of the North American plate. The Pacific plate moves underneath it at that point, try to push the part of the plate that Honshu sits on to the west. The North American plate is huge and surrounds the top of the pacific plate, and the earthquake was caused when that part of couldn't take the stress of the push compared to the pull of the rest of the plate anymore and sprang back to the east over the top of the pacific plate by around 8ft.
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