Richter Scale: Richter magnitude scale – How Earthquakes Works

Richter Scale

If a major earthquake happens to be on the news there’s a good chance. You’ll be informed concerning the Richter scale rating. It’s also possible to hear of the Mercalli Scale rating however, it’s not discussed in the same way. These two ratings define the strength in the earthquake, from two distinct viewpoints.

The most widely used standard of measurement used for earthquakes can be found in that of the Richter scale. Which was developed in the year 1935 through Charles F. Richter of the California Institute of Technology. It is the Richter scale can be used to measure an earthquake’s size that an earthquake has its energy release released. The calculation is based on the information obtained from an seismograph.


Richter scale is logarithmic. Richter scale of Richter is logarithmic which means that whole-number jumps signify a tenfold increase. In this instance the increase is the amplitude of the wave. This means that the amplitude of a wave in an earthquake of level 6 is 10 times more than that of an earthquake of level 5, and the amplitude rises 100 times more between an earthquake of level 7 and an earthquake of level 9. The quantity of energy released rises 31.7 times in comparison to the total numbers.

As we’ve previously mentioned that the majority of earthquakes are tiny. Most quakes have a magnitude of lower than three in the Richter scale. These earthquakes, also known as microquakes aren’t experienced by human beings. A tiny fraction about 15 or so from the 1.4 million quakes which are above 2.0 -are registered as high as 7 or higher which is the minimum threshold is for a quake to be classified as major is (source: USGS]. The most powerful quake to be recorded in time was the 9.5 earthquake that struck Chile in the year 1960. It killed more than 1,900 people, and caused around 4 billion dollars of damage in dollars in 2010. (source: USGS]. It is typical to not see the extent of damage caused by earthquakes with a magnitude of less than four on the Richter scale.

Richter ratings

Richter ratings

Richter ratings are only able to give you an impression of the effects of earthquakes, but. As we’ve seen, the magnitude of an earthquake’s destructive force is dependent on the structure of the soil in an area as well as the design and positioning of man-made structures. The severity of the damage is measured using the Mercalli scale. Mercalli ratings are given in Roman numbers are based on mostly subjective interpretations. An earthquake of low intensity which is one where only some people feel the impact but there isn’t a major damage to property, is classified as an II. The highest grade, an IX, is used for earthquakes that cause structures to be damaged, the ground has damaged as well as other disasters caused by nature like the landslide as well as tsunamis are triggered.

Richter scales

Ratings for Richter scales are established immediately following an earthquake. When scientists are able to compare the data from various seismograph stations. Mercalli ratings, on other hand, aren’t established until the researchers have had the chance to speak to a variety of eyewitnesses in order to determine what happened in the event. When they have a clear idea of the extent of damages, they apply Mercalli criteria to determine the damage. Mercalli criteria to choose the most appropriate rating.

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