Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Activity more than location affects perception of quakes

07.03.2014

How accurate and reliable are reported perceptions of quakes?

Scientists rely on the public's reporting of ground shaking to characterize the intensity of ground motion produced by an earthquake. How accurate and reliable are those perceptions?

A new study by Italian researchers suggests that a person's activity at the time of the quake influences their perception of shaking more than their location. Whether a person is at rest or walking plays a greater role in their perception of ground motion than whether they were asleep on the first or sixth floor of a building. People in motion had the worst perception.

... more about:
»earthquake »ground shaking

"People are like instruments, more or less sensitive," said Paola Sbarra, co-author and researcher at the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia in Rome, Italy. "A great amount of data and proper statistical analysis allowed us to make a fine-tuning of different conditions for a better interpretation of earthquake effects," said Sbarra.

The paper, co-authored by colleagues Patrizia Tosi and Valerio de Rubeis, is published today in the March issue of the Seismological Research Letters (SRL).

Sbarra and colleagues sought to analyze two variables – how an observer's "situation" and "location" influenced their perception in order to improve the characterization of low macroseismic intensities felt near small earthquakes or far from larger ones. Contrary to their findings, the current European macroseismic scale, which is the basis for evaluating how strongly an earthquake is felt, considers location the stronger indicator for defining intensity.

The authors analyzed data submitted to "Hai-sentito-il-terremoto?," which is similar to the U.S. Geological Survey's "Did You Feel It?" website that analyzes information about earthquakes from people who have felt them. After an earthquake, individuals answer questions about what they felt during the quake, along with other questions regarding their location and activity.

Intensity measures the strength of shaking produced by the earthquake at a certain location. Intensity is determined from effects on people, human structures, and the natural environment.

The number of people who feel an earthquake is critical to determining intensity levels, and low intensity earthquakes generate fewer reports, making objective evaluation of shaking difficult.

###

The journal SRL is published by the Seismological Society of America, which is the leading research society devoted to the study of earthquakes.

Nan Broadbent | EurekAlert!

Further reports about: earthquake ground shaking

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Satellite Views Early Thanksgiving Travel Trouble Areas in U.S.
26.11.2014 | NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Unmanned underwater vehicle provides first 3-D images of underside of Antarctic sea ice
25.11.2014 | National Science Foundation

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Regional economic cooperation in Central Asia

21.11.2014 | Event News

Educating the Ecucators

13.11.2014 | Event News

36th Annual IATUL Conference 2015: Call for papers and posters

12.11.2014 | Event News

 
Latest News

Siemens expands software for mobile data management in the process industry

26.11.2014 | Trade Fair News

Microbial Communities for Health and Environment : Precise Measurements of Microbial Ecosystems

26.11.2014 | Life Sciences

VTT demonstrates new technique for generating electricity

26.11.2014 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>