There are many terms related to an Earthquake, which can be confusing to understand. Magnitude, shaking intensity and energy release, all are related and proportional to each other in different ways. It is an Earthquake's magnitude that is the main element and understood by almost everyone. Our planet faces several Earthquakes per year, and some countries even consider Earthquakes pretty usual.The leading causes of earthquakes are breaking of rock somewhere underground, rubbing or sliding of two plates with each other, unexpected energy release that provokes seismic waves. Many Earthquakes are accompanied by Tsunamis due to the movement of plates in Earth's crust that activates the sea and brings massive destruction to the place.
We all are pretty familiar with the word 'Richter Scale'. It is basically used to measure the magnitude of an Earthquake. The scale has values from 0-10, higher the value, greater the magnitude. An increase by one professes to be the increase of amplitude by tenfold. Humans usually feel the ground shaking when an Earthquake hits the magnitude of 4.
Sometimes, the magnitude of an Earthquake is quite high, but the city or particular area doesn't get a lot of damage and vice-versa. This is due to the shaking intensity, which determines how severe the Earthquake was. Shaking intensity is measured through a scale known as the 'Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale’.
Energy release is the third factor which is used to measure an Earthquake's size. The more significant the energy released during an Earthquake, the higher the chances of damage to the place. Energy is released at various frequencies while an earthquake occurs, and for the exact measurement of total energy release, all shaking frequencies are included. Many studies have advised that the energy radiated by Earthquakes can be used up for power generation purposes.
Earthquakes bring unimaginable disaster to the place where it occurs, depending on its magnitude.
Various construction companies all around the globe also come up with projects that are Earthquake proof. Not only this, many concrete and cement companies also claim that their cement can resist the disaster that Earthquakes bring along. However, these are a few tactics followed by the countries facing a high number of Earthquakes every year.
Back in the early 1900s, when there was not enough equipment invented to measure different qualities of an Earthquake, scientists only measured the magnitudes. Some of the historical Earthquakes worldwide are summed up in the infographic below.
Infographic by: Visualcapitalist.com