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The magnitude of an earthquake is a measure related to its energy. If a geographical region is selected for research, many earthquakes with different energies may appear during the study interval. An analysis of the distribution of magnitude values can be useful to understand some spatial and temporal characteristics of the region. Gutenberg & Richter (1944) proposed a statistical relation between the magnitude and the number of the seismic events. In this paper we review this relationship, analysing its assumptions and comparing them with observed data from selected volcanic and tectonic regions of Ecuador.

The Gutenberg-Richter (GR) Law is an empirical relation between the magnitude x of some seismic event and N(x), the number of events with magnitudes higher than x.Ishimoto & Iida (1939) and Gutenberg & Richter (1944) proposed the following linear relation:

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