# If one earthquake has a magnitude of 5 on the richter scale and a second earthquake has a magnitude of 6 ….?

Oct 18, 2010
in
Earthquake Questions

If one earthquake has a magnitude of 5 on the richter scale and a second earthquake has a magnitude of 6 compare the intensities of the two earthquakes.

I know this has something to do with logarithims and the answer is 60 DB, I just dont know how to arrive at the answer, thanks.

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2 comments

PhysicsDude on October 18, 2010 at 1:34 pm

The answer shouldn’t necessarily be a number, unless its a difference. The Richter scale is indeed logarithmic, meaning that for each integer it increases, the intensity is doubled. Therefore, the intensity of a 6 earthquake is twice that of a 5.

Trevor H on October 18, 2010 at 1:34 pm

The Richter Scale is indeed a logarithmic scale, to base 10. This means that 1 unit increase on that Richter Scale represents a 10 fold increase in intensity. Therefore a magnitude 6 earthquake on the Richter Scale has a magnitude which is 10 times that of a magnitude 5 earthquake.

I am unable to comment on your reference to DB – dB? – which is a unit for the measurement of intensity of sound – which is also a logarithmic scale.