## What are Richter scale used for?

The Richter scale measures the largest wiggle (amplitude) on the recording, but other magnitude scales measure different parts of the earthquake. The USGS currently reports earthquake magnitudes using the Moment Magnitude scale, though many other magnitudes are calculated for research and comparison purposes.

## What is the difference between the Richter scale and the Mercalli Intensity Scale which is used more often?

From a scientific standpoint, the magnitude scale is based on seismic records while the Mercalli is based on observable data which can be subjective. Thus, the magnitude scale is considered scientifically more objective and therefore more accurate.

## What is the difference between the Richter and Mercalli scales?

First, the Richter scale is a mathematical measurement of the intensity of the ground shaking, as measured on a seismograph. It is actually a measurement of the height (amplitude) of the waves produced by the earthquake. The Richter Scale is an absolute scale; wherever an earthquake is recorded, it will measure the same on the Richter Scale.

## How is the Richter scale used in science?

Applications and Use. The Richter scale is used to measure the magnitude of most modern earthquakes and allows scientists to accurately compare the strength of earthquakes at different times and locations.

## What can you do with the Modified Mercalli scale?

Learning the Modified Mercalli scale can give students this ability. It is sufficient to distinguish between small, moderate, or large earthquakes. This knowledge can help a student determine a course of action during and after the shaking. Using the worksheet, review the Modified Mercalli and Richter Scales with the students.

## Is the Mercalli scale used to measure earthquake strength?

The Mercalli Intensity Scale is only useful for measuring earthquakes in inhabited areas and is not considered particularly scientific, as the experiences of witnesses may vary and the damage caused may not accurately reflect an earthquake’s strength.