The Richter & Mercalli Scales

A summary of the Richter magnitude scale and the Mercalli intensity scale.

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  • Created by: Jim Cole
  • Created on: 27-04-12 21:04
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Jim Cole
The Richter Scale
Developed in 1935 by Charles F Richter.
Logarithmic scale that shows magnitude of earthquake:
o An earthquake of magnitude 2.0 is ten times bigger than one of magnitude 1.0, and
one of magnitude 3.0 is 100 times bigger than one of magnitude 1.0.
Each earthquake is rated by one single value on Richter scale.
Initially, the variation in seismograph design meant that this scale could only be applied to
seismographs of similar manufacture.
Modern advancements and standards mean each seismograph is now carefully calibrated
with respect to the others.

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Jim Cole
The Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale
Developed from Rossi-Forel scale by Giuseppe Mercalli between 1884 and 1906.
Rates an earthquake with a roman numeral based on the surface effects and damage caused
by the earthquake.
Areas around the epicentre may be differently rated, based on the surface effect in those
Although earthquakes of larger magnitude also generally cause more damage, factors such
as focus depth and epicentre location can make weaker, shallower earthquakes more
destructive than stronger, deeper ones.…read more


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