What is seismology?

Question:

What is seismology?

Methods of earthquake measurement

In the course of a year there are roughly 500,000 earthquakes on earth with only a small percentage of them, around 100, that cause damage. Historically, the magnitude of an earthquake was given by it's numerical value on what is called the Richter scale. The Richter scale was developed by Charles Richter in 1935 and would assign a value to the smallest measurable earthquake as zero. All subsequent earthquakes thereafter would be measured according to this initial reading. Because methods of detection have significantly improved, the Richter scale is rarely used for actual measurements; but is more often referred to in the general population or news reports as a way of describing severity. The Moment Magnitude Scale, which was developed in the 1970's, is the modern tool that is used to measure earthquakes today. This scale has much greater sensitivity and range than it's predecessor; and provides a more accurate measurement at the higher end of the range than the Richter scale did.

Answer and Explanation: 1

Earthquakes and Tsunamis are the result of waves that travel either through the surface of the earth, or through the inner core. These waves are called seismic waves and they can be caused by natural sources such as the shifting of plates in the Earth's interior; or, by artificial sources such as explosions. The study of these waves and the resulting earthquakes is known as seismology.


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Seismology: Definition & History
Seismology: Definition & History

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Chapter 28 / Lesson 7
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There are only a few branches of sciences that exist primarily to prevent damage to property and loss of life. Seismology is just such a study. In this lesson, we will discuss what seismology is and dive into some of its history.


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