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What is the relationship between earthquakes power and nuclear explosions?

How to compared power of earthquake with nuclear explosion?

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Did you check Wikipedia? –  Qmechanic Oct 12 '12 at 11:33
    
@Qmechanic: quote that as an answer...I guess it is eligible to be an answer.. –  Vineet Menon Oct 12 '12 at 11:36
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I think it's correct, and gentlemanly, when Qmechanic doesn't "quote" answers written by someone else - like Wikipedia users - as his own for which he should collect big points. The problem with Vineet's picture is not only that the right verb isn't "quote", but "plagiarize"; this copying would have another drawback, namely the lack of personal responsibility for the answers. This forum shouldn't be reduced to a place where people mindlessly copy and paste. –  Luboš Motl Oct 12 '12 at 12:26
    
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1 Answer 1

I'm guessing that alberta would like to know what the relationship might be between earthquake magnitudes and say, the energy of an nuclear bomb. First, it's given that the energy of one tonne of TNT is ~4.2 Gigajoules. Next, the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richter_magnitude_scale on Richter magnitudes lists comparisons of earthquake magnitudes to TNT energy.

A weak earthquake of magnitude 3 has energy of 2.0 Gigajoules, 0.48 tonnes of TNT, or of a sizable chemical bomb. Since earthquake energies increase by a factor of 32 per magnitude, a modest magnitude 5 earthquake has an energy of 2.0 Terajoules, 480 tonnes of TNT, or a 0.48 megaton nuclear device. The 1960 Chili 9.5 magnitude earthquake, the strongest on record, generated TNT equivalent of 11 Exajoules, 2.7*10$^{12}$tonnes of TNT, or that of a 2.7 billion tonne nuclear bomb!!!

Since earthquake magnitude energy varies with a factor of 32/magnitude, small magnitude variations result in large energy variations.

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2.7 billion tonne nuclear bomb!!! that earthquake was really strange!! i have no idea what happens to people if such earthquakes happen in a big town –  Neo Oct 13 '12 at 0:54
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