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An earthquake strength scale for the media and the public

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A.C. Johnston, 1990, An earthquake strength scale for the media and the public: Earthquakes & Volcanoes (USGS), v. 22, iss. 5.

Summary

Let's face it: seismologists do a pretty poor job of communicating the facts about our science to the public. Earthquake magnitude is the classic example. How many of us have struggled to explain the Richter scale? We explain that it is logarithmic, with each unit indicating a factor of 10 increase, but this really represents a factor of 32 increase in intrinsic earthquake size, and in any case we don't use the Richter scale anymore. By then the unfortunate listener is reeling and can be dispatched quietly by mentioning negative magnitudes or saturation. We even wonder why the audience or the reporter has this glazed look when we we finish. A local engineer, E.P Hailey, pointed this problem out to me shortly after the Loma Prieta earthquake. [...]

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Author :
A.C. Johnston
Publisher :
U.S Geological Survey

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Type Scheme Key
local-index unknown 70162681
local-pk unknown 70162681
series unknown Earthquakes & Volcanoes (USGS)

Citation Extension

journalEarthquakes & Volcanoes (USGS)
parts
typevolume
value22
typeissue
value5
languageEnglish
citationTypeArticle

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