How does a seismograph measure earthquakes?


By means of a delicately hung weight on a fixed base, a seismograph traces a chart which records how powerful an earthquake is.

When an earthquake occurs, the violent movement of the earth’s crust causes vibrations that spread out in all direction though the earth.

To help detect and measure earthquakes, scientists have invented an instrument called a seismograph, an earthquakes recorder.

A seismograph often consists of a large weight that hangs from framework resting on a fixed base in the earth.

When an earthquake shakes the ground, the base of the seismograph moves.  But the weight itself remains still.  The amount of movement the base makes I recorded and traced on a chart.

The strength of an earthquake is commonly measure on the Richter scale.  It grades the size of an earthquake on a 1 to 10 scale.

The destructive earthquake that struck San Francisco in 1960, for example, measured 8.3 on the Richter scale.  Not all earthquakes cause damage of injury.


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