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The Richter Scale


The Richter Scale or Local Magnitude Scale (ML)

The Richter magnitude scale is the most public known  seismic scale  and as result the most popular, this scale was named after mathematician Charles Richter developed it in 1935 together with Beno Gutenberg both of the California Institute of Technology originally to measure seismic activities in California. It was intended to be used only on a particular seismograph type called the Wood-Anderson Torsion Seismometer. The Richter Scale is a logarithm base 10 scale meaning that each integer digit represents 10 times more energy released that the earthquake of the previous digit magnitude.



Magnitude 6 earthquake will release 10 times more energy than an earthquake of magnitude 5

But an earthquake magnitude 7 will release 10 times more energy than an earthquake magnitude 6 but 100 more than one with a magnitude 5  


Relative Energy released




10 times more than cero


10 times more than 1


10 times more than 2


10 times more than 3


10 times more than 4


10 times more than  a 5 or 100 times more than a 4


10 times more than a 6 or 1000 times more than a 4


10 times more than 7


10 times more than 8 or 100,000

Times more than a 4


10 times more than a 9

     Earthquakes Info Content Index