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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第299期:地下的烈火(7)

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The scale is of course more an idea than an object, an arbitrary measure of the Earth's tremblings based on surface measurements. It rises exponentially, so that a 7.3 quake is fifty times more powerful than a 6.3 earthquake and 2,500 times more powerful than a 5.3 earthquake.
当然,里氏震级是一个概念,不是一件东西,是一个根据地面测量的结果武断地得出的地球震动的次数。它以指数的上升来表示,于是7.3级地震要比6.3级地震强50次,比5.3级地震强2500次。
At least theoretically, there is no upper limit for an earthquake—nor, come to that, a lower limit. The scale is a simple measure of force, but says nothing about damage. A magnitude 7 quake happening deep in the mantle—say, four hundred miles down—might cause no surface damage at all, while a significantly smaller one happening just four miles under the surface could wreak widespread devastation. Much, too, depends on the nature of the subsoil, the quake's duration, the frequency and severity of aftershocks, and the physical setting of the affected area. All this means that the most fearsome quakes are not necessarily the most forceful, though force obviously counts for a lot.
从理论上讲,地震没有上限──因此也没有下限。震级是一种测量强度的简单方法,但毫不说明破坏程度。发生在地幔深处的7级地震──比如,650公里下面──可能对地面毫无破坏作用,而发生在地面以下六七公里处的小得多的地震,很可能造成大面积的破坏。很大程度上也取决于底土的性质、地震持续的时间、余震的频率和烈度,以及灾区的具体情况。这一切都意味着,最可怕的地震不一定是最强烈的地震,虽然强度显然很有价值。
关东大地震场面The largest earthquake since the scale's invention was (depending on which source you credit) either one centered on Prince William Sound in Alaska in March 1964, which measured 9.2 on the Richter scale, or one in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Chile in 1960, which was initially logged at 8.6 magnitude but later revised upward by some authorities (including the United States Geological Survey) to a truly grand-scale 9.5.
自震级发明以来,最大的地震(取决于你使用哪种资料)不是1964年3月以阿拉斯加威廉王子湾为震中的大地震,就是1960年发生在智利近海太平洋里的大地震。前者是里氏9.2级;后者起先记录为8.6级,但后来由某些权威(包括美国地质局)往上调整为9.5级。
重点单词   查看全部解释    
scale [skeil]
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n. 鳞,刻度,衡量,数值范围
v. 依比例决
 
pacific [pə'sifik]
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n. 太平洋
adj. 太平洋的
p
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survey [sə:'vei]
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v. 调查,检查,测量,勘定,纵览,环视
n.
 
setting ['setiŋ]
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n. 安装,放置,周围,环境,(为诗等谱写的)乐曲
 
frequency ['fri:kwənsi]
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n. 频繁,频率
 
magnitude ['mægnitju:d]
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n. 大小,重要,光度,(地震)级数,(星星)等级
联想记忆
initially [i'niʃəli]
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adv. 最初,开头
 
exponentially [.ekspəu'nenʃəli]
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adv. 成倍地,幂地,指数地
 
invention [in'venʃən]
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n. 发明,发明物,虚构,虚构物
 
duration [dju'reiʃən]
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n. 持续时间,期间
联想记忆
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