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Magnitudes of large shallow earthquakes from 1904 to 1980



Magnitudes of large shallow earthquakes from 1904 to 1980



Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors 27(1): 0-92



In order to obtain a uniform magnitude catalogue, surface-wave magnitudes Ms and broad-band body-wave magnitudes mB have been determined for large shallow earthquakes from 1904 to 1980. In making the catalogue homogeneous, the author consistently adheres to the original definitions of Ms and mB given by Gutenberg (1945) and Gutenberg and Richter (1956). The determinations of Ms and mB are all based on the amplitude and period data listed in Gutenberg and Richter's unpublished notes, bulletins from stations worldwide, and other basic information. mB is measured on broad-band instruments in periods of 8 s. Consistency of the magnitude determinations from these different sources is carefully checked in detail. More than 900 shallow shocks of magnitude 7 and over are catalogued. The meaning of the magnitude scales in various catalogues is examined in terms of Ms and mB. Most of the magnitudes listed by Gutenberg and Richter (1954) in their “Seismicity of the Earth” are basically Ms for large shocks shallower than 40 km, but are basically mB for large shocks at depths of 40–60 km. The surface-wave magnitudes given by “Earthquake Data Reports” are higher than Ms by 0.2 unit whether the combined horizontal amplitude or the vertical amplitude is used. mB and the currently used 1 s body-wave magnitude are measured at different periods and should not be directly compared.

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Accession: 019361679

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DOI: 10.1016/0031-9201(81)90088-1


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