posted on May, 19 2011 @ 05:03 PM
A good way of explaining depth/magnitude in laymans terms is to think of Earthquake waves as a balloon. The rupture is beneath the surface so the less
of a radiating area it hits above the better, this minimises the wave energy passing across the surface as there's less displacement but also reduces
the effects of S-Waves rebounding from lateral/subsurface features.
Earthquakes are often compared to ripples on a pond, and this is one of the biggest "no-no's" in the study of Seismology. The USGS Shakemap the
past few years is excellent however for describing the balloon theosis. Where you can see the shallower quakes radiate the energy in a more
concentrated area. While quakes 300 miles in depth or more can affect thousands of miles radiantly, but the concentration is sparse so it barely
registers on the surface.