Encyclopedia of Complexity and Systems Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers

Earthquake: Magnitudes, Energy, and Moment

  • Peter Bormann
  • Domenico Di Giacomo
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27737-5_627-1

Definition of the Subject, Its Brief History and Importance

Besides earthquake location (i.e., the determination of the geographical coordinates of the epicenter, the hypocenter depth, and the origin time; see earthquake source in the Glossary), the magnitude is the most frequently determined and commonly used parameter to characterize the size of an earthquake. Despite various limitations, magnitudes also provide important information concerning the earthquake source spectrum at the frequencies where the magnitudes are measured (cf. Bormann et al. 2013; Bormann and Di Giacomo 2011) in relation to current source theories (cf. Aki 1967; Boore 1983; Brune 1970, 1971; Geller 1976; Haskell 1964a, b; Kanamori and Brodsky 2004) and may also be important in the discussion of various global problems such as the seismic slip rates between lithosphere plates.

Besides these more academic issues, earthquake magnitudes have an immense practical value in providing:
  1. (a)

    A simple way of providing a...


Stress Drop Seismic Moment Seismic Energy Magnitude Scale Rupture Velocity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Formerly Helmholtz Center PotsdamGerman Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ)PotsdamGermany
  2. 2.International Seismological Centre (ISC)ThatchamUK