Richter Scale

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In 1935, while working at the Seismological Laboratory, Charles Francis Richter, a former resident of Hamilton, Ohio, worked with Beno Gutenberg to develop a rating scale for earthquakes. The scale has become known as the Richter Scale. The scale had the following classifications for earthquakes and their severity:

In 1935, while at the Seismological Laboratory, Richter worked with Beno Gutenberg to develop a rating scale for earthquakes. The scale has become known as the Richter Scale. The scale had the following classifications for earthquakes and their severity:

  1. Felt by instruments only
  2. Felt by sensitive people and sensitive animals
  3. Felt by many people
  4. Felt by everyone; pictures fall off of walls
  5. Damage
  6. Destructive earthquake in populated areas
  7. Major earthquake causing serious destruction
  8. Total destruction of nearby communities
  9. An earthquake more than one 100 million times more powerful than category one

For decades, the Richter Scale proved to be the accepted measurement for earthquakes. In recent years, scientists have begun to use the Moment Magnitude Scale, which is much more precise than the Richter Scale.

See Also