# Earthquake: Richter and Mercalli Scales

Summarize the source of the calculations for the Richter scale.

- Compare the Richter scale and Mercalli scale. In your opinion, explain which is more meaningful in the use of reporting earthquake destruction.

- Describe how math and science has made reporting earthquakes more accurate.

https://brainmass.com/math/number-theory/earthquake-richter-mercalli-scales-587258

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Answer to 587258

Exponential and Logarithmic Models

1. Summarize the source of the calculations for the Richter scale.

2. Compare the Richter scale and Mercalli scale. In your opinion, explain which is more meaningful in the use of reporting earthquake destruction.

3. Describe how math and science has made reporting earthquakes more accurate.

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1. "The Richter scale formula is a measure of ground movement at the epicenter of an earthquake. This Richter scale number can then be used to calculate the energy released from an earthquake." Richter scale is based on the log of 10 and it gives a measure of the magnitude of an earthquake.

Richter scale of 'n' = log(10^n) = earthquake with a magnitude of 'n'

For example, a magnitude 3 earthquake [log(10^3) = log(1000)] causes 10 times more ground movement than a magnitude 2 earthquake [log(10^2) = log(100)].

2. "While the Mercalli scale describes the intensity of an earthquake based on its observed effects, the Richter scale describes the earthquake's magnitude by measuring the seismic waves that cause the earthquake. The two scales have different applications and measurement techniques. The Mercalli scale is linear and the Richter scale is logarithmic."

The Mercali Scale is more descriptive and hence meaningful of the actual damage than the Richter Scale, even though it might not be that scientific. There are many factors that are responsible for the earthquake damage, such as how close the epicenter is, how deep the epicenter is, construction of buildings in the area, type of geology inherent to the area, effect of natural objects and many more, represented on a scale from I (not felt) to XII (total destruction). But Richter scale does not take these factors into account.

3. [This is an essay-type question. So read and comprehend the above as well as your textbooks and notes.]

References

1) http://www.backbenchmedia.com/richter-scale-equation-earthquakes/

2) http://www.diffen.com/difference/Mercalli_Scale_vs_Richter_Scale

https://brainmass.com/math/number-theory/earthquake-richter-mercalli-scales-587258