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Measuring Earthquakes How are earthquakes measured?

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Presentation on theme: "Measuring Earthquakes How are earthquakes measured?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Measuring Earthquakes How are earthquakes measured?

2 Seismology The study of earthquake waves is called Seismology Earthquake waves can be detected at great distances by Seismometers A seismometers record is known as a seismogram


4 Time-Travel Curves Years of data collection has led to time-travel curves The curves tell the time an S- and P-wave takes to reach a certain distance P-waves arrive first The difference between waves on a seismogram determines the distance from the epicenter

5 Time-Travel Curves

6 Locating Earthquakes Epicenters are located by the separation between S- and P- waves on a seismogram Cannot use one location to map epicenter Need to use three or more seismic stations Time can be measured in same way

7 Earthquake Intensity The amount of energy released during an earthquake is known as its magnitude Three scales measuring intensity Richter Scale Moment Magnitude Scale Modified Mercalli Scale

8 Richter Scale The Richter Scale is based on the largest waves generated by the quake Each number on the scale is an increase of 10 Ex: 8 is 10x larger than 7, 100x larger than 6

9 Moment Magnitude Scale The Moment Magnitude Scale includes: Size of fault rupture Amount of movement along fault Rocks stiffness Uses more data than Richter Scale – More accurate

10 Modified Mercalli Scale The Modified Mercalli Scale assesses damage from a quake

11 Factors affecting Magnitude Distance from epicenter Depth of focus

12 Where do Earthquakes Occur? Earthquakes are not randomly distributed Almost 80% of Earthquakes occur along the Circum-Pacific Belt


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