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What is the brittle ductile transition zone, and how deep do earthquakes get?

The BDTZ is that depth within the crust where the rocks become hot enough to bend and fold when put under stress, instead of breaking and producing earthquakes like the cooler and brittle near surface materials. Earthquakes are therefore generally pretty shallow. The exceptions are related to crustal movement in subduction zones, where deep quakes have been recorded in excess of 400 kilometers.


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