European Macroseismic Scale

European Macroseismic Scale

The European Macroseismic Scale (EMS) is the basis for evaluation of seismic intensity in European countries and moreover in use on most other continents. Issued in 1998 as update of the test version from 1992, the scale is referred to as EMS-98.

The history of the EMS began in 1988 when the European Seismological Commission (ESC) decided to review and update the Medvedev-Sponheuer-Karnik scale (MSK-64), which was used in its basic form in Europe for almost a quarter of a century. After more than five years of intensive research and development and a four-year testing period, the new scale was born. In 1996 the XXV General Assembly of the ESC in Reykjavik passed a resolution recommending the adoption of the new scale by the member countries of the European Seismological Commission.

Unlike the earthquake magnitude scales, which express the seismic energy released by an earthquake, EMS-98 intensity denotes how strongly an earthquake affects a specific place. The European Macroseismic Scale has 12 divisions, as follows:

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The European Macroseismic Scale EMS-98 is the first intensity scale designed to encourage co-operation between engineers and seismologists, rather than being for use by seismologists alone. It comes with a detailed manual, which includes guidelines, illustrations, and application examples.

See also

*Other seismic scales

External links

* [http://www.gfz-potsdam.de/portal/-?$part=binary-content&id=1883158&status=300 European Macroseismic Scale (full text in English)]


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