# Earthquakes and the Richter Scale

The intensity level of an earthquake is based on the Richter scale. Using logarithms, the Richter scale measures an earthquake relative to (as a ratio of) the weakest possible tremor.

What is the formula for measuring earthquakes?

Why is a 7.0 earthquake ten times stronger than a 6.0 earthquake?

Pick an earthquake in your region of the world.

Give the measurement of the earthquake.

Explain what this measurement means.

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#### Solution Preview

The intensity level of an earthquake is based on the Richter scale. Using logarithms, the Richter scale measures an earthquake relative to (as a ratio of) the weakest possible tremor.

Using the Library, web resources, and other course materials, research how earthquakes are measured. Include the following items in your posting:

What is the formula for measuring earthquakes?

The Richter scale is a logarithmic scale used to measure the energy released by an earthquake. Each increase of 1 on the scale represents a 10-fold increase in energy.

This table describing the effects of different size earthquakes can be found in the Wikipedia entry:

Description Richter Magnitudes Earthquake Effects Frequency of Occurrence

Micro Less than 2.0 Microearthquakes, not felt. About 8,000 per day

Very minor 2.0-2.9 Generally not felt, but recorded. About 1,000 per day

Minor 3.0-3.9 Often felt, but rarely causes damage. 49,000 per year (est.)

Light 4.0-4.9 Noticeable shaking ...