January 8, 2014
by Jon Connolly
Scientists to observe seismic energy from Seahawks Fans During Playoff Game on Saturday
University of Washington seismologists this week installed two strong-motion seismometers at CenturyLink Field in Seattle to augment an existing station in recording shaking from "earthquakes" expected on Saturday during the NFC divisional game between the Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints.
The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network is preparing a special website at www.pnsn.org for the game to display seismograms from all three seismic stations in near-real time, and seismologists will also be available to explain interesting signals. Seismologists also will highlight interesting signals in tweets (@PNSN1) and on Facebook (thePNSN).
Seahawks fans, collectively known as "the 12th man," have a well-known reputation for generating noise and shaking the stadium during games. Perhaps the best-known example occurred on Jan. 8, 2011, during a 67-yard touchdown run by the Seahawks Marshawn Lynch that helped Seattle defeat New Orleans in an NFC Wild Card game.
Scientists hope to record similar shaking during Saturday's game to better understand how the stadium responds to the activity, and to measure the energy transmitted to the ground within the stadium and within the surrounding neighborhood.
The experiment provides a test of equipment that will be used to monitor aftershocks following a traditional earthquake and will provide technical training for staff of the UW-based Pacific Northwest Seismic Network.
"Because the fault ruptures that generate earthquake waves are almost always buried by miles of rocks, scientists aren't sure about the action at the source that results in seismic shaking. In a way, Seahawks fans provides us an opportunity to get inside the source that's generating seismic waves," said seismic network operations manager Paul Bodin, a UW research associate professor of Earth and space sciences.
"While the basic mechanics are quite different – earthquakes release energy stored in rocks by frictional sliding on a fault while the fans produce energy by jumping and cheering in reaction to events on the field – both of those processes produce organized seismic waves that may travel long distances and have similar characteristics," Bodin said.
"We think that it's actually the CenturyLink Field structure itself that acts as the organized seismic source, energized by the excited, although disorganized, crowd movement."
The resulting seismic signals could be similar to what scientists would be able to see if they could place a sensor inside a complex geological fault system, he said.
Other scientific benefits of the work could include understanding:
- Unusual ground vibrations in an urban setting and understanding the variability in ground motions at different sites.
- The vibrational response of a large structure, helping engineers to learn about different design elements.
- How the seismic network's website is used by the general public, and how it stands up to heavy user traffic.
- Packers versus Seahawks game analysis -- too exciting
- Panther versus Seahawk Game Analysis
- Seismology will again watch/help the Seahawk's playoff run
- Canadian ETS morphing to Washington one?
- Great ShakeOut, Great success!
- The Great ShakeOut 2014 is Tomorrow!
- Three Cascadia ETS events in past month??
- Is Mount St. Helens seismicity increasing?
- Warm weather triggers snow avalanches at St. Helens
- Seismic recordings of a gas explosion in North Bend, WA
- 2015 (3)
- November (1)
- October (2)
- September (1)
- July (1)
- May (1)
- April (1)
- March (2)
- February (3)
- January (4)
- October (1)
- September (1)
- August (1)
- June (1)
- April (3)
- March (4)
- February (1)
- January (2)
- December (1)
- November (2)
- October (3)
- September (1)
- August (3)
- July (2)
- June (4)
- May (4)
- April (2)
- The wech-o-meter takes over all of Cascadia
- Keystone Cops: Italy prosecutes seismologists for failure to predict deadly quake
- UFOs in eastern Washington? No, rather UTEs (Unidentified Terrestrial Events)
- New Sodo Seattle Liquefaction Array Installed
- Why we should constantly watch the deformation of the seafloor
- Mystery chirp near Newberry Volcano
- Planting seismographs causes earthquakes? or maybe ice-quakes?
- Tunneling rumbles south under Capitol Hill
- 15 years of mostly silent magma inflation near Three Sisters, Oregon
- Mount Hood earthquake swarm of Feb 23, 2012
- Web glitches: duplicate (and even triplicate!) earthquakes
- How earthquake magnitude scales work
- Mine blast masquerades as volcanic tremor
- The Spokane Swarm about 10 years ago
- Another hum around Mount St. Helens
- Slow slip: A new kind of earthquake under our feet
- PNSN and social media
- 3am M3.4 earthquake in St. Helens Seismic Zone
- The wrong kind of volcano noise
- Fast chatter on Rainier an hour ago
- Can slush-mageddon trigger earthquakes?
- Rainier Repeating Earthquakes Update and Comparison with Weather Patterns
- 22-minutes drumbeat icequakes(?)
- Mount Rainier popping away
- Repeating Earthquakes on Mount Rainier - are glaciers the culprit?
- Debunking another SEC football myth by the PAC-12
- One year ago, Seattle Seahawks 12th Man Earthquake
- The odds this year of a megaquake on the Pacific Northwest coast
- Is the plague of great earthquakes this decade a sign of increased danger?
- Nile Valley landslide talks to PNSN seismologists
- Good vs evil in central US earthquake hazard analysis
- Why does a volcano scream?
- Predicting big quakes from patterns of little ones
- 1-hour warning for Japanese M9 earthquake?
- Sound Transit train under Interlaken keeps a rollin'
- Invisible changes under the hood at the PNSN
- Sound Transit Tunneling Noise
- "Visionary" toads
- Earthquake early warning in the PNW
- November (1)
- December (13)