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# Why do you think the Richter Scale uses a logarithmic scale (as opposed to a linear or normal scale) to measure the size of an earthquake?

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Why do you think the Richter Scale uses a logarithmic scale (as opposed to a linear or normal scale) to measure the size of an earthquake? It may help to consider that the largest earthquakes, such as one recorded off the coast of Japan in 2011, can register over 9.0 on the Richter scale. (An additional note: the Moment Magnitude Scale is now the official way to measure the size of earthquakes. It measures the amount of work – in the physics sense – of the earthquake, and is related to the amount of energy released. The Moment Magnitude Scale is fairly close to the Richter Scale for most earthquakes, but is less dependent on location of measurement, and is, therefore, easier to standardize.)

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Apr 1, 2021

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Using a logarithmic scale makes VERY LARGE numbers easier to work with in calculations etc.

so instead of 10 000 000 joules of energy     we would say something like  '7' on the scale   ( as in 107)

Apr 1, 2021