I am trying to find out if there is a way to compute if an earthquake is destructive. I am looking for a threshold formula which depends on magnitude and depth

for example

X = (some constant) * magnitude * depth

if X > (some constant) the earth quake is destructive or secondary effects (landslides, fires, floods or tsunamis) are destructive.

This can help in finding out if there is a fixed pattern for the locations of earthquake.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You are trying to reduce a multi-dimensional problem to a single-dimensional variable. This is rarely a good idea. There are too many other factors that come into play for this too be possible. $\endgroup$
    – bon
    Jun 29, 2016 at 8:20

1 Answer 1


The 'destructiveness' is a function of local geology and hydrogeology, type of earthquake, depth of earthquake, local population density, and whether the local builders paid attention to the appropriate building codes. So no, there isn't an equation for destructiveness. However, you can estimate the local intensity (at the surface) from the magnitude. The mathematical approach is given in the APPLICATIONS OF EXPONENTIAL AND LOGARITHMIC FUNCTIONS for earthquakes.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you but do you know if there is a list of earthquakes details about its depth. $\endgroup$
    – S.aad
    Jun 29, 2016 at 13:57

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