The United States Geological Sciences seismometer recorded a 3.7 magnitude earthquake on the 12th of June, 2019. It occurred around five in the afternoon about 10 miles south of Camarillo. Other cities in the area felt the tremors but the media reported no major damages.

Seismologists use the Richter scale to measure earthquake magnitude. Developed by Charles F. Richter in 1935, this mathematical device determines this magnitude using the logarithm of the amplitude of waves recorded in the seismograph. Richter worked as a seismologist at California Institute of Technology. He died on the 30th of September in Pasadena.

Earthquake Magnitude vs. Intensity

Seismograph measures earthquake magnitude
Seismograph measuring earthquake magnitude

Earthquake magnitude measures the length of seismic waves. It refers to the movement of the earth’s surface. Seismographs record these numbers on the Richter scale. It can measure up to a level of ten wavelength. Chile holds the record for the largest earthquake in 1960. It measures 9.5 on the Richter scale.

Intensity, on the other hand, refers to the strength of the shaking of the earth. It varies in every location affected by the earthquake. A 3.1 magnitude earthquake can have different intensities in different locations. The Modified Mercalli Scale and Rossi-Forel Scale measures these intensities. They use Roman numerals to describe the severity of these intensities.

Preparing for the Big One

Outward effects on people, human structures and the natural environment determine an earthquake’s intensity level. Intensity I earthquakes are hardly felt. Their magnitudes range from 1.0 to 3.0 on the Richter scale. Magnitude 3.0 up to 3.9 ranks level 3. It feels like the vibration of a passing truck.

Earthquakes happen regularly in the state of California. Five active fault lines cover the southern portion of the state. Michio Kaku is a theoretical physicist and professor at the City College of New York. He predicted a magnitude 8 earthquake to hit Los Angeles in the future. It will rapture the San Andreas fault line. The City of Los Angeles calls it The Big One.

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