The Intensity of an Earthquake is Measured on

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

The Intensity of an Earthquake is Measured on the Mercalli scale. The earthquake intensity, or strength, is a measure of the amplitude, or size, of seismic waves as specified by a seismograph reading. Based on damage from observable earthquakes, the Mercalli Scale is used.

Measurement of Earthquake Intensity

This scale was modified by Harry O. The Mercalli scale is also known as the Modified Mercalli scale. With the use of this scale, Isoseismal curves can be drawn to summarize such data for an earthquake. Isoseismals would be circles with the epicenter if there were complete symmetry about the vertical through the earthquake’s focus.

Read: What are the Main Causes of Earthquakes?

The scale has twelve levels based on which the degree of the earthquake is described. The twelve scale levels are Not Felt, Weak, Light, Moderate, Strong, Very Strong, Severe, Violent, and the next three levels are Extreme.

  • From a scientific perspective, the Mercalli scale is based on observable data, which can be arbitrary, whereas the magnitude scale is based on seismic records.
  • The magnitude scale is therefore regarded as being more accurate and scientifically more objective.
  • When two earthen blocks abruptly move past one another, an earthquake results. The fault, also known as the fault plane, is the area where they slide.


The Intensity of an Earthquake is Measured on

The Mercalli scale is used to measure the intensity of an Earthquake and was modified by Harry O. Hence, it is also referred to as the Modified Mercalli scale. The intensity of an earthquake depends upon several factors, such as the depth of the hypocenter, terrain, and distance from the epicenter. The scale has twelve levels which are used to describe the intensity of the earthquake.

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