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 Scale That Measures the Magnitude of an Earthquake?
An earthquake is a sudden release of energy in the Earth‘s lithosphere that creates seismic waves. Earthquakes can range in size from those that are so weak that they cannot be felt to those violent enough to toss people around and destroy whole cities.
The Richter magnitude scale is used to measure the size of earthquakes. The Richter magnitude scale, also called the Richter scale, is a logarithmic scale used to measure the magnitude, or size, of an earthquake.
The Richter scale was developed in 1935 by Charles F. Richter, an American seismologist, and Beno Gutenberg, a German seismologist. It is based on the logarithm of the amplitude of waves recorded by seismographs.
The Richter scale is not a linear scale, which means that an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.0 is not twice as strong as an earthquake with a magnitude of 3.0.
In fact, an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.0 releases about 32 times more energy than an earthquake with a magnitude of 3.0.
The Richter scale is also a base–10 logarithmic scale, which means that an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.0 is 10 times as strong as an earthquake