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Earthquake Scales
Earthquake Scales - Richter Magnitude, Moment Magnitude and Mercalli Intensity
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The intensity of an earthquake can be described by scales as Moment magnitude (MW ) Mercalli intensity Richter magnitude (ML) Mercalli Intensity Instrumental Feeble Slight Moderate Rather Strong Strong Very Strong I II III IV V VI VII 4 5 5-6 Richer Magnitude 2 2 3 Moment Magnitude 1.0 - 3.0 3.9 4.0 4.9 5.0 5.9 6.0 Actual Observation of the Earthquake Microearthquakes, usually not felt - detected by instruments Often felt, especially on upper floors - detected by instruments Felt noticeably indoors, vibration like passing vehicles, cars may rock Felt indoors by many, felt outdoors by few. Dishes and doors disturbed, like a heavy truck nearby, walls-cracking sound Felt by most people, slight damage. Some dishes and windows broken, some cracked plaster, trees disturbed Felt by all, many frightened and run outdoors. Damage minor to moderate Everyone runs outdoors. Much damage to poor designed buildings, some chimneys broken, noticed by people driving cars Everyone runs outdoors. Damage moderate to major. Minor damage to well designed structures, major damage in poor designed structures. Chimneys, columns and walls falls. Heavy furniture turned. Well water changes, sand and mud ejected Can cause serious damage over larger areas. Major damage in all structures, ground cracked, pipes broken, shift foundation Major damage, most masonry and frame structures destroyed. Ground badly cracked, landslides, water sloshed over river banks, rails bent Almost all masonry structures destroyed, bridges fall, big fissures in ground, land slumps, rails bent greatly Devastating in areas several thousand miles across. Total destruction, Ground surface waves seen, objects thrown in the air. All constructions destroyed.




Ruinous Disastrous Very Disastrous


7 7-8 8





Mercalli Intensity - based on actual observations of the damage - can not be measured on instruments Moment Magnitude - based on energy released - logarithmic scale Richter Magnitude - based on the movement of a needle - logarithmic scale
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Engineering ToolBox - SketchUp Edition - add standard and customized parametric components - like flange beams, lumbers, piping and more - to your SketchUp model - enabled for use with the amazing, fun and free SketchUp Make and SketchUp Pro. Add from the Sketchup Extension Warehouse!

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