Logarithmic scale: Richter scale (earthquake)

Logarithmic scale: Richter scale (earthquake)

We have previously learnt that applying logarithm on a humungous number will give us a much smaller number. Ever wondered how this property can help us in our daily lives? One of the many applications of logarithmic properties is to measure the magnitude of earthquakes, which we call the Richter magnitude scale. In this section, we will explore the concept of this logarithmic scale and its applications.


  • 1.
    The 2011 earthquake in Japan measured 9.0 on the Richter scale.
    The 2008 earthquake in China measured 7.9 on the Richter scale.
    Complete the following 2 sentences:
    (i) The Japan earthquake was __________ times as intense as the China

    (ii) The China earthquake was __________ times as intense as the Japan

  • 2.
    Earthquake "Alpha" measured 5.8 on the Richter scale.
    Earthquake "Beta" was 200 times as intense as Earthquake "Alpha".
    Earthquake "Gamma" was 11000 { 1\over 1000 } times as intense as Earthquake "Alpha".
    What was the Richter scale readings for:
    (i) Earthquake "Beta"
    (ii) Earthquake "Gamma".