Find a
Resource
Select grade level(s) Select resource type(s) Select collection(s) Select standard(s) Skip navigation Digital Library for Earth System Education
Digital Library for Earth System Education
Search tips
Rating the Size of Earthquakes
This report describes how the work of K. Wadati, Charles F. Richter, Harry O. Wood, and Beno Gutenberg resulted in a way of rating earthquakes in southern California according to an instrumental analysis of the amount of energy they released in the form of seismic waves. This work resulted in the first use of the term "magnitude" for describing the amount of energy released by an earthquake, and in the development of the now-famous Richter Scale for quantifying earthquake magnitudes. Topics include the original definition of Richter magnitude and a brief synopsis of how Richter used earthquake data from southern California to graphically represent trace amplitude and develop a table of values that could be used to calculate magnitudes.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
  • College (13-14)
Type of resource:
  • Text:
    • Ref. material
  • Dataset:
    • Modeled
Subject:
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Geophysics
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Copyright 2002 Southern California Earthquake Center at the University of Southern California. All rights reserved.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-006-735
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 5-8:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Change, constancy, and measurement
      • E - Science and technology:
        • Understandings about sci. / tech.
      • G - History and nature of science:
        • Science as a human endeavor
    • 9-12:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Change, constancy, and measurement
      • E - Science and technology:
        • Understandings about science and technology
      • G - History and nature of science:
        • Science as a human endeavor
Related resources:
This resource is part of 'SCEC Education Module: Investigating Earthquakes through Regional Seismicity'
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC)
http://www.data.scec.org/