Posts Tagged ‘intensity’

Resolved: Earthquakes with Magnitudes of Less than 3.0 are Not Worth Reporting – Danville’s 2.0 Was No Big Whoop

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Well, run for the hills, Ma Barker – it’s been reported that Danville, CA had an earthquake of magnitude 2.0 on the Richter (or, IRL, moment magnitude) scale this morning.

Now really, is this event worth reporting if nobody even felt it? I mean, don’t we have hundreds of tiny earthquakes going on all the time? So why inform readers about quakes of magnitude 2, or 1, or zero, or less than zero?

Now, what if The Great Danville Micro-Quake of Novembre 7th in the Year of Our Lord Twenty Hundred and Half a Score, well what if it had had about thirty times as much energy? Well, then it would be a 3.0 and people would have felt it and then it’d be worth reporting.

You know where you want to be the next time a Big One comes? The Skidmore, Owings & Merrill-designed state building in San Francisco’s Civic Center. It’s resting on 288 eight-foot hydraulic seismic dampers. Like this one:

Click to expand

Ergo, resolved: Earthquakes with Magnitudes of Less than 3.0 are Not Worth Reporting.