sensorThousands of tiny Post-it-note-sized seismic sensors hooked up to home computers are the future of earthquake forecasting. People who live in vulnerable areas (for example, everyone near the Hayward Fault, such as, oh, you know, almost every single UC Berkeley student) can volunteer to install one with a commitment of at least one year.

“With thousands of volunteers hosting our seismic sensors, forming dense networks in these regions, we’ll be able to get data on a level of detail and with a degree of accuracy that we could only dream about before,” said Jesse Lawrence, assistant professor of geophysics at Stanford University, where the project is based.

What this means in the long term is better earthquake forecasting, a more comprehensive understanding of seismic effects on a variety of building types and earlier warnings for Bay Area residents, so that when that big one finally hits, we’ll survive … even if our homes and baby earthquake sensors don’t.

Image source: Stanford University, Department of Geophysics
‘Citizen-seismologists’ sought to host tiny earthquake sensors on their computers [Stanford Report]



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