Thomas C. Hanks

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Thomas C. Hanks is an American seismologist. He works for the US Geological Survey (USGS) in Menlo Park, California. Dr. Hanks is a member of the Seismological Society of America, the American Geophysical Union, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, the Geological Society of America, the Peninsula Geological Society at Stanford, and many related geological societies. Dr. Hanks has authored dozens of scholarly papers in strong-motion seismology and tectonic geomorphology.

In 1979 the Japanese-American seismologist Hiroo Kanamori, professor of seismology at the California Institute of Technology and Dr. Hanks (then a graduate student at Caltech) suggested the use of Moment magnitude scale to replace the Richter magnitude scale for measuring the relative strength of earthquakes. The reason was that the Richter scale saturates at magnitudes greater than about 5.5, while the Moment magnitude scale does not saturate.[1]

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