Riddles of the Assamese Earthquake of 1897. The Greatest Earthquake of All Greats

8 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2021 Last revised: 7 Jun 2021

See all articles by Serguei Bychkov

Serguei Bychkov

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Faculty of Science

Date Written: February 7, 2021

Abstract

The Assamese earthquake occurred at the dawn of seismology and left us a few mysteries. The main mystery is the energy of the event because the nature and extent of the destruction do not correspond to modern estimates. Opinions of scientists on this issue differ significantly. From the European seismograms, Mr. Richter calculated the magnitude of the earthquake equal to MS = 8.7. Subsequently, his associates corrected the magnitude to the value MS = 8.0 [1]. Other estimates of the energy release of the earthquake are known to be 8.4 × 1018 J, 4.8 x 1019 J, and some scholars generally ascribe to Assamese, and not the Great Chilean earthquake, 1960 (1.33 × 1020 J) the laurels of the strongest earthquake in the entire history of the world. Our calculation shows figure 1.57 × 1021J. The difference in the above estimates is not just big, it is huge! What is the reason for this scatter? And was the Assamese earthquake the Greatest of all Greats?

Keywords: earthquake, energy, shock wave

Suggested Citation

Bychkov, Serguei, Riddles of the Assamese Earthquake of 1897. The Greatest Earthquake of All Greats (February 7, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3780844 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3780844

Serguei Bychkov (Contact Author)

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Faculty of Science ( email )

313-1267 Marinaside Cr.
Vancouver, V6Z2X5
Canada

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