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Name: Robin W.
Status: Educator
Age: 9-12
Location: N/A
Country: United States
Date: August 6, 2005


Question:
This is a great idea.
My question is that when measuring the seismographic amplitude for the Richter scale what amplitude do I use?
1. max S-wave amplitude
2. max L-wave amplitude
3. mean S-wave amplitude
4. mean L-wave amplitude
5. other?



Replies:
Robin,

The Richter magnitude is determined by measuring the amplitude of the largest wave recorded on the seismogram. If you are looking at a seismogram and the surface waves are the largest, use the largest one to determine the magnitude of the quake. If an S-wave is largest, use that wave. The Richter scale is purely based on amplitude of the biggest wave, not on what type of wave it is.

Hope this helps.

Michelle Weinberger



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