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earthquake spread distance

earthquake spread distance

Postby vadud3 » Fri Jul 16, 2010 3:06 pm
How far a earthquake of a magnitude 3.6 would spread ? 10 mi radius ? more ?
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Re: earthquake spread distance

Postby jimisbell » Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:08 pm
What do you mean by "spread"? It can be felt around the world if your instruments are sensitive enough. If you mean how far from the epicenter would it be a 3.6, that isn't meaningful in that it IS a 3.6 earthquake. But in terms of what you would feel, it might actually be a greater strength 100 miles from the epicenter than at the epicenter because the force felt at the surface varies according to the type of soil/rock/etc. that the waves travel through. I was in one earthquake where at the epicenter, where we were, we felt almost nothing, just heard a loud "boom" similar to a sonic boom. In another I was many miles from the epicenter and the shaking was violent.
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Re: earthquake spread distance

Postby rhkennerly » Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:01 pm
That's a pretty complex question that depends on a lot of variables. First of all, if by "spread" you mean detected, even minor quakes and tremors will reverberate around the earth several times at detectable levels.

If by "spread" you mean do damage, it all depends on the cause of the quake and its depth. Tectonic plates grinding together--either overriding or subsumed, pulling apart, or volcanic activity all can produce earthquakes of different kinds. A shallow quake of lesser magnitude can do far more damage on the surface than a deep quake of greater magnitude.

And then there is question of on land or near water.
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Re: earthquake spread distance

Postby regdoug » Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:07 pm
As I understand it, that depends on the material through which the seismic waves are traveling.
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