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What type of scale is used to measure earthquakes?

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Quick Answer

The scale used to measure the severity of earthquakes is called the Richter scale. The Richter scale was invented by an American seismologist named Charles Richter at the California Institute of Technology in 1935.

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Full Answer

The Richter scale is a logarithmic scale that measures the intensity of seismic vibrations in the Earth’s crust. The scale is numbered from 1 to 10, with 10 representing the most severe earthquakes. The magnitude or intensity of an earthquake is measured in whole numbers and decimal fractions. Earthquakes with a magnitude of 2.0 or less are often called micro quakes, while major earthquakes usually have a magnitude of 4.5 or greater. A seismograph is the instrument used to measure these seismic vibrations.

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