Oscillations begun by the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake in December 2004 are providing important information about the composition of the Earth as well as the size and duration of the earthquake, according to a report in the journal Science by an international group of scientists led by Professor Jeffrey J. Park of the Department of Geology and Geophysics at Yale University.
Spectral peaks of Earths free oscillations, indicated by the shapes of vibration deformations of Earth’s sphere.
"Just like thumping a watermelon to hear if it is ripe, after a big earthquake thumps our planet we measure the natural tones from seismograms to detect properties of Earths deep mantle and core," said Park. "The Sumatra-Andaman earthquake produced the best documentation of Earths free oscillations ever recorded."
Free oscillations have natural periods that depend on the composition and temperature of Earths deep interior, and cause tiny distortions in the shape of the planet.
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