MagnitudeAnd intensity measure different earthquake characteristics. Magnitude measures the energy released at the source of the earthquake and is determined by seismograph measurements. The magnitude is the same no matter where you are, or how strong or weak the shaking at various locations.
The magnitude of an earthquake is a measured value of an earthquake’s size and energy.
In Richter magnitude, the amount of movement (amplitude) caused by seismic waves determines its magnitude.
Intensity measures the strength of shaking produced by the earthquake at a certain location. Intensity is determined from effects on people, human structures, and the natural environment.
The intensity of an earthquake is a measure of the earth’s shaking at a certain location.
Table 12-2 gives intensities that are often seen near the epicenter of different earthquakes’ magnitudes.
Using Richter’s open ended scale allows more accurate reports of earthquake intensity. It doesn’t depend on people’s feelings and observations like earlier scales did.
Today with the Internet and more and more households submitting reports, it is possible for intensity maps to be created within hours of a large earthquake. These intensity maps help seismologists figure out how subsurface matter relates to what is felt in an earthquake and the damage to buildings and homes.