Measuring Earthquakes - 5 of 20
Measuring Earthquakes FAQs - 20 Found
Intensity is a qualitative measure of the strength of ground shaking at a particular site. The Mercalli Scale is used to determine the intensity.
The Mercalli Scale is based on observable earthquake damage. 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. For example a level I-V on the Mercalli scale would represent a small amount of observable damage. At this level doors would rattle, dishes break and weak or poor plaster would crack. As the level rises toward the larger numbers, the amount of damage increases considerably. The top number, 12, represents total damage.