Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Study reveals seismic shift in methods used to track earthquakes

Scientists have developed a new technique to monitor movements beneath the Earth's surface, helping them better understand how earthquakes behave

The team, led by scientists from the University of Edinburgh, says that the new method, which uses data collected from earthquakes, potentially allows the Earth's seismic activity to be mapped more comprehensively.

Scientists currently monitor underground movements, such as earthquakes and nuclear tests, using seismometers – instruments that measure the motion of those events at the Earth's surface. This helps to indicate where they took place.

Now, by analysing the seismic waves from two different earthquakes, the team has been able to simulate the seismic waves from one of the earthquakes as if they were recorded by a seismometer at the location of the second.

The discovery allows earthquakes themselves to be used as virtual seismometers that record passing waves from tremors that happen elsewhere in the world.

Using earthquakes in this way substantially increases the number of locations that could be used to detect seismic activity. And since earthquakes occur deep inside the Earth, using them also allows scientists to monitor seismic activity from far deeper than previously possible.

The research, published in Nature Geoscience, was carried out in collaboration with the British Geological Survey and Utrecht University.

Andrew Curtis, Professor of Mathematical Geoscience at the University of Edinburgh, said: "This turns the way we listen to seismic movements on its head. By using earthquakes themselves as virtual microphones that record the sound of the Earth's internal movements, we can listen to the Earth's stretching and cracking from directly within its most interesting, dynamic places."

Dr Brian Baptie, Seismology Team Leader at the British Geological Survey, said: "This discovery shows how we can measure strains deep inside the Earth and helps improve our understanding of the processes driving earthquake activity."

For further information, please contact:

Prof. Andrew Curtis, School of Geosciences, tel +44 131 650 8515; mobile +44 786 654 6227; email

Norval Scott, Press and PR Office, tel 0131 650 2246; mobile +7791 355 809; email

Prof. Roel Snieder, W M Keck Distinguished Professor of Basic Exploration Science, Colorado School of Mines, tel. +1 303 273 3456; email

Norval Scott | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Oasis of life in the ice-covered central Arctic
24.10.2016 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

nachricht Receding glaciers in Bolivia leave communities at risk
20.10.2016 | European Geosciences Union

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Oasis of life in the ice-covered central Arctic

24.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

‘Farming’ bacteria to boost growth in the oceans

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

24.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>