7. Earthquake Description Standards

All earthquakes should be described with two sets of numbers, each based on the widely accepted Richter scale, at least for public discussions. The first set would be the moment magnitude, indicating the actual energy released by the quake. This number would be the most important number for identifying the quake. The second number would be a measure of the intensity of the earthquake at a given spot on the earth by measuring the local intensity of the shaking (i.e., centimeters of ground movement, velocity of ground movement (units of length divided by units of time, or acceleration as a percentage of gravity). Such numbers plotted on a map would give the most accurate representation of the relative shaking experienced throughout the affected area.


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