What is the Richter Scale?
The Richter Scale is one method for measuring the intensity of earthquakes.
The Richter Magnitude Scale is one method for measuring the intensity of earthquakes. An earthquake's magnitude is the logarithm of the amplitude of waves. The waves are detected by seismographs.
Remember, because the Richter Magnitude Scale is logarithmic, each whole number increase in earthquake level means a tenfold increase. A level 5 compared to a level 6 earthquake might not seem like a huge increase, but a level 6 earthquake is ten times larger than a level 5 and is over thirty times stronger in terms of energy released. Compare different earthquake magnitudes here.
You can read about measuring the size of earthquakes in more detail from the US Geological Society here.