Journal of Seismology

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 225–236

Empirical Global Relations Converting MS and mb to Moment Magnitude



The existence of several magnitude scales used by seismological centers all over the world and the compilation of earthquake catalogs by many authors have rendered globally valid relations connecting magnitude scales a necessity. This would allow the creation of a homogeneous global earthquake catalog, a useful tool for earthquake research. Of special interest is the definition of global relations converting different magnitude scales to the most reliable and useful scale of magnitude, the moment magnitude, MW. In order to accomplish this, a very large sample of data from international seismological sources (ISC, NEIC, HRVD, etc.) has been collected and processed. The magnitude scales tested against MW are the surface wave magnitude, MS, the body wave magnitude, mb, and the local magnitude, ML. The moment magnitudes adopted have been taken from the CMT solutions of HRVD and USGS. The data set used in this study contains 20,407 earthquakes, which occurred all over the world during the time period 1.1.1976–31.5.2003, for which moment magnitudes are available. It is shown that well-defined relations hold between MW and mb and MS and that these relations can be reliably used for compiling homogeneous, with respect to magnitude, earthquake catalogs.


magnitude scales moment magnitude global empirical relations homogeneous catalogs 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geophysics, School of GeologyAristotle UniversityThessalonikiGreece

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