Duration estimated.Intensity 2: Weak — Felt only by a few persons at rest, especially on upper floors of buildings.Intensity 1: Not felt — Not felt except by a very few under especially favorable conditions.The USGS switched its definition of magnitude from the Richter scale to the moment magnitude scale in the late 1990s, Jones said.The Richter scale, developed in the 1930s, was named after American seismologist and physicist Charles Richter.Get all the day's most vital news with our Today's Headlines newsletter, sent every weekday morning. )The shaking from the M6.7 Northridge, CA earthquake was more intense and covered a wider area than the slightly larger M6.8 Nisqually, WA earthquake.The reason is shown by the two cartoon cross-sections below. earthquakes (greater than M3.5 - M4.0) generally report the size of the Damage great in substantial buildings, with partial collapse. Bedrock shakes the least, and soft mud the most. It's not hard to keep them straight and not much harder to calculate the comparisons yourself. conversion process. Seismic energy by magnitude compared: All 3 stations are about the same distance from the earthquake to the south, but the type of local geology beneath the instrument influences the amount of shaking at that location. To do that, just insert one simple extra step: subtract the magnitudes and then add 50% before using the result as a power of 10. The magnitude is the quantified measure of the earthquake size and is measured using a seismometer.

Pendulum clocks may stop.Intensity 4: Light — Felt indoors by many, outdoors by few during the day. More Information about Earthquake Magnitude and Seismic Moment. If you are interested in the math, here's how it works. map for the M6.0 Napa, California earthquake on August 24, 2014. )Another way to measure the size of an earthquake is to compute how much energy it released.

the late 1930s it became commonplace to measure earthquakes by See the Magnitude Types Table (below)for a summary of types, magnitude ranges, distance ranges, equations, and a brief description of each. )You would need ~80,000km of fault length with an average seismogenic width of 100km to produce an Mw10.5. (This works because the energy scales with 3/2 of magnitude, for reasons that don't matter.) That means a magnitude 7 earthquake produces 32 times more energy — or is 32 times stronger — than a magnitude 6.A magnitude 8 releases 1,000 times more energy than a magnitude 6, but it releases that energy over a larger area and for a longer time, Jones said.Originally, the definition of magnitude related to seismograms, in which machines used an ink stylus to record rapid motions on a rolling drum of paper that would measure shaking. The difference in magnitudes is 2.7, so the difference in During a magnitude 7 earthquake, 10 times more energy is released than the energy released during a magnitude 6 earthquake. If you are interested in the math, here's how it works. The 1985 quake that devastated Mexico City was an 8. Magnitude measures shaking. Most California earthquakes occur within the top 16 km of the crust; to a first approximation, corrections for variations in earthquake focal depth were, therefore, unnecessary.The Richter magnitude of an earthquake is determined from the logarithm of the amplitude of waves recorded by seismographs. The moment magnitude scale measures the total energy released by an earthquake. rocks included in the fault (dyne/cmgiving the energy ES in ergs from the For each whole-number increase in magnitude, the seismic energy released increases by about 32 times.

That's a handy rule of thumb to keep in mind. How a seismogram worked. But for very large earthquakes, some magnitudes underestimate true earthquake size, and some underestimate the size. The energy released is equal to the 3/2 power of the multiple of shaking amplitude. In mathspeak, the formula is 10^((M1-M2)*1.5).

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