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Magnitude scale and quantification of earthquakes

Kanamori, Hiroo (1983) Magnitude scale and quantification of earthquakes. Tectonophysics, 93 (3-4). pp. 185-199. ISSN 0040-1951. doi:10.1016/0040-1951(83)90273-1.

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Despite various shortcomings, the earthquake magnitude scale is one of the most fundamental earthquake source parameters to be used for catalogs. Although use of a uniform scale is desirable, it is not always possible because of changes in instrumentation, the data reduction method and the magnitude formula, the station distribution, etc. As a result, various magnitude scales have been developed and are currently in use. Recent developments in seismometry and earthquake source theories provide more quantitative source parameters than the magnitude. In order to maintain continuity and uniformity of the data, it is important to relate these magnitude scales and the new parameters. In view of this importance, relations between different magnitude scales are examined with an emphasis on the difference in the period of the waves used for the magnitude determination. Use of several magnitude scales determined at different periods provides a convenient method for characterizing earthquakes. The moment magnitude can be used to quantify both shallow and deep earthquakes on the basis of wave energy radiated, and provides a uniform scheme.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle
Kanamori, Hiroo0000-0001-8219-9428
Additional Information:© 1983 Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company. Received September 23, 1982. I thank Tom Heaton and Mario Vassiliou for useful discussions at the various stages of this study. Katsuyuki Abe kindly allowed me to use some of his unpublished data on intermediate and deep earthquakes. This research was partially supported by the Earth Sciences Section of the National Science Foundation, grant EAR-811-6023. Contribution Number 3781, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125.
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Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences3781
Issue or Number:3-4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141216-105157037
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Official Citation:Hiroo Kanamori, Magnitude scale and quantification of earthquakes, Tectonophysics, Volume 93, Issues 3–4, 10 April 1983, Pages 185-199, ISSN 0040-1951, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:52862
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:16 Dec 2014 19:02
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 19:44

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