There are two major ways to measure an earthquake effect, of which two different apparatus are used for the measurements. You can measure an earthquake based on the magnitude of seismic energy, or based on the intensity, that is the effects it has on the surrounding. So, the appropriate barometer used while measuring based on the seismic energy magnitude is the Richter scale, while the barometer used for measuring based on the intensity or quake effect is the Mercalli scale.
These two scales are popularly used in the United States. However, there are other scales that can be used in substitute for the Mercalli scale, such as the MSK scale, Shindo scale, EMS scale, and the INQUA scale. The Mercalli scale, which is fully referred to as the Modified Mercalli Scale, has been since the 19the century and is older than the Richter scale. Charles Richter, with an assist from Geno Gutenberg, developed the Richter scale in the year 1935.
Richter Scale and Mercalli Scale are the parts of different tools used by experts to ascertain the level of intensity, magnitude and the strength of a natural disaster like earthquake. They can also be used to give a kind of forecast about the possible occurrence of natural disasters like earth tremor or earthquake so as to actively and adequately create various measures that will counter the effects of the possible occurrence. However, there are some differences between Richter scale and Mercalli scale.
Richter scale is made in form of a barometer to measure the magnitude of the earthquake in the affected area. While, Mercalli scale is used to measure the intensity of the seismic activity. Richter scale can be regarded as the older instrument out of the two. Mercalli scale is just a newer version of Richter which has been subjected to a lot of modifications. Richter scale is widely used and experts prefer it to Mercalli scale.
The Mercalli intensity scale measures the strength of an earthquake by witnessing the effect it has on people, the world around us, and the Earth’s surface. The Richter scale measures the energy that is released by the earthquake by using a seismograph. The Mercalli scale measures the effects caused by an earthquake, whereas the Richter scale measures the actual energy released by the quake.
The calculation used by them or Mercalli scale is quantified from observation of the effects on the earth surface, humans, objects, and human-made structures. The Richter scale measurements can be obtained by calculating logarithms of the amplitude of waves. The Mercalli he scales consistency depends on the distance from the epicenter, and the Richter scale one value is given for the earthquake.