How Do We Calculate The Intensity Of An Earthquake?


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Rajesh Shri answered
The intensity of an earthquake is measured in terms of the energy released as also the destruction caused by the earthquake. To calculate the intensity of an earthquake a seismograph an instrument that measures the seismic or earthquake waves is used; intensity is expressed in terms of the Mercalli scale and takes in to account the acceleration of the ground expressed as cm/sec2 and the frequency of the waves.

The earthquakes that take place due to tectonic causes like faulting are more intense as compared to those occurring due to volcanic explosions or human activities. To express the intensity of the earthquake in terms of its magnitude the Richter scale was developed which is a base-10 logarithmic scale. An earthquake of magnitude 6 and above is considered to be capable of causing widespread destruction. The energy released by the earthquake varies with respect to distance and is highest at the epicenter of the earthquake.

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