Difference between Focus and Epicenter

There are a huge number of people especially geology students who get confused with the two most commonly used terms in geology including focus and epicenter. They think that there is no difference between focus and epicenter and keep on holding the opinion that these terms can be used interchangeably. However, with a close observation of focus and epicenter, they can easily understand that both of these terms are not the same and perform entirely different functions. Focus and epicenter are two most commonly known terms when it comes to talk about earthquakes because people always take interest in knowing the focus and epicenter of the earthquake. Focus is basically the actual point or place which is below the earth and it is the point from where an earthquake originates. On the other hand, epicenter is the point which is on the surface of the earth right above the focus. Focus remains away from human eye but people can easily see the epicenter of an earthquake by observing the destruction of the area. Focus helps the students or geological experts to know the cause of earthquake whereas epicenter helps in getting an estimation of disaster resulting from the earthquake. Keep reading to learn more about focus and epicenter.


  • 1


    Focus is basically a point from where an earthquake originates. This point is below the surface of the earth and can sometimes hundreds of feet deep in the earth. This is the main point where the rocks start to break or rapture and they release the powerful energy in a violent manner and the seismic waves of this energy spread in all directions and cause destruction. People try to study focus in order to know the cause of the earthquake. The waves that are produced by the rapture or breaking of rocks produce powerful waves that create a strong vibration in all directions. Initially these vibrations become very powerful but gradually die down.

    Image courtesy: gettyimages.com

  • 2


    Epicenter is basically situated above the surface of the earth right above the focus. Epicenter can be seen by all people and this is the point that helps in getting an estimate of the intensity and disaster of earthquake. Epicenter also helps in getting an idea of the focus point of the earthquake. Usually, the epicenter is also considered as the centre of the earthquake and geologists always get help from this point to know the intensity and effects of the earthquake. The surrounding area of epicenter gets powerful damaged by the earthquake because it is the closest area of the centre of earthquake.

    Image courtesy: gettyimages.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 × = fourteen