What is Richter scale in geography?

Asked By: Rosalyn Maesen | Last Updated: 9th June, 2020
Category: science geology
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Earthquakes, until recently, have been measured on the Richter scale. The Richter scale measures the magnitude of an earthquake (how powerful it is). It is measured using a machine called a seismometer which produces a seismograph. A Richter scale is normally numbered 1-10, though there is no upper limit.

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Likewise, what is Mercalli scale in geography?

The amount of damage caused by an earthquake is measured by the Mercalli Scale. This is a measure of intensity , and changes according to which area you are measuring - damage nearer the epicentre would usually be greater than further away.

Beside above, what kind of scale is the Richter scale? The Richter magnitude scale is a scale of numbers used to tell the power (or magnitude) of earthquakes. Charles Richter developed the Richter Scale in 1935. His scale worked like a seismogram, measured by a particular type of seismometer at a distance of 100 kilometers (62 mi) from the earthquake.

Also to know is, what is the Richter scale and what do the numbers mean?

This scale, invented in 1934 by California scientist Charles Richter, measures the magnitude of an earthquake, and the result is a number from 0 to 10, as measured on a machine called a seismograph. In addition, each whole number increase means 32 times more energy is released.

How is the Mercalli scale used?

The Mercalli intensity scale (or more precisely the Modified Mercalli intensity scale) is a scale to measure the intensity of earthquakes. Very often, non-geologists use this scale, because it is easier for people to describe what damage an earthquake caused, than to do calculations to get a value on the Richter scale.

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What is the difference between Mercalli and Richter scales?

The Mercalli scale bases its measurement on the observed effects of the earthquake and describes its intensity. On the other hand, the Richter scale measures the seismic waves, or the energy released, causing the earthquake and describes the quake's magnitude. It is a logarithmic.

How do earthquakes happen?

Earthquakes are usually caused when rock underground suddenly breaks along a fault. This sudden release of energy causes the seismic waves that make the ground shake. When two blocks of rock or two plates are rubbing against each other, they stick a little. When the rocks break, the earthquake occurs.

When was the Richter scale first used?

The Richter scale was developed in 1935 by American seismologist Charles Richter (1891-1989) as a way of quantifying the magnitude, or strength, of earthquakes.

How is moment magnitude calculated?

The seismic moment, M0, can be expressed by the formula M0 = DAμ where D is the average fault displacement, A is the total area of the fault surface, and μ is the average rigidity (with respect to shearing forces) of the rocks in the fault.

What is focus and epicenter?


Epicenter is the location on the surface of the Earth directly above where the earthquake starts. Focus (aka Hypocenter) is the location in the Earth where the earthquake starts.

What is seismograph in geography?

noun. The definition of a seismograph is a measuring instrument for earthquakes that tracks duration and magnitude. A device used to measure the duration and magnitude of a San Francisco earthquake is an example of a seismograph.

What is the epicenter of an earthquake?

The epicenter is the point on the earth's surface vertically above the hypocenter (or focus), point in the crust where a seismic rupture begins. Epicenter & Hypocenter. (

What is the Richter scale used for?

The most common standard of measurement for an earthquake is the Richter scale, developed in 1935 by Charles F. Richter of the California Institute of Technology. The Richter scale is used to rate the magnitude of an earthquake -- the amount of energy it released.

Why is the Richter scale important?

It was invented in 1935 by Charles F. Richter of the California Institute of Technology as a mathematical device to compare the size of earthquakes. The Richter scale is used to rate the magnitude of an earthquake, that is the amount of energy released during an earthquake.

Is a magnitude 10 earthquake possible?


No, earthquakes of magnitude 10 or larger cannot happen. The magnitude of an earthquake is related to the length of the fault on which it occurs. No fault long enough to generate a magnitude 10 earthquake is known to exist, and if it did, it would extend around most of the planet.

How strong is a 6.0 earthquake?

Magnitude Earthquake Effects
5.5 to 6.0 Slight damage to buildings and other structures.
6.1 to 6.9 May cause a lot of damage in very populated areas.
7.0 to 7.9 Major earthquake. Serious damage.
8.0 or greater Great earthquake. Can totally destroy communities near the epicenter.

Is a 4.5 earthquake strong?

Events with magnitudes greater than 4.5 are strong enough to be recorded by a seismograph anywhere in the world, so long as its sensors are not located in the earthquake's shadow. The following describes the typical effects of earthquakes of various magnitudes near the epicenter.

Where is the Richter scale located?

The Richter scale was invented, logically enough, in the 1930s by Dr. Charles Richter, a seismologist at the California Institute of Technology. It is a measure of the largest seismic wave recorded on a particular kind of seismograph located 100 kilometers (about 62 miles) from the epicenter of the earthquake.

What is the highest on the Richter scale?

In theory, the Richter scale has no upper limit, but, in practice, no earthquake has ever been registered on the scale above magnitude 8.6. (That was the Richter magnitude for the Chile earthquake of 1960. The moment magnitude for this event was measured at 9.5.).

Is the Richter scale linear or logarithmic?


The Richter Scale has been in use for many years and is an example of a logarithmic scale. Logarithmic scales are linear scales in 'x' such as 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 etc, but they represent magnitude changes of 10, 100 and 1000 etc.

Who made the Richter scale?

Charles Francis Richter

How bad is a 5.5 earthquake?

Moderate: 5 - 5.9. A moderate earthquake registers between 5 and 5.9 on the Richter scale and causes slight damage to buildings and other structures. An earthquake of magnitude 5.5 struck the border between Quebec, seen here, and Ontario in June 2010.