Animation comparing earthquake magnitude and energy release

Seismologists sometimes find it hard to explain to the general public the significance of the earthquake magnitude scale with relation to the energy release. Here is a very nice animation comparing the relative energy release of some 20th and 21st century earthquakes by their moment magnitudes.

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Matthew Agius is a recent PhD graduate from the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies in Ireland and is now doing research at the University of Southampton (National Oceanography Centre). His research focuses on the dynamics of the lithosphere beneath Tibet, the Central Mediterranean, and the Pacific Ocean. Matthew’s role as a young scientist representative is to promote the efforts done by young researchers and to engage in discussions that concern seismology students. You can reach Matthew via e-mail at

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