Friday, October 10, 2008

Watching earthquake waves roll through Arizona

The EarthScope array of seismic stations across western states including Arizona (USArray) are capturing an unprecedented view of earthquake waves from all over the world as they propagate across the globe. The IRIS Web site is showing a number of prominent quakes, including the one shown here from the magnitude 6.4 Jalisco, Mexico quake of September 24.

With some of the videos, the direction of propagation reverses itself as the waves that went around the world start coming in from the opposite direction. The visualization software was developed by Charles Ammon of Penn State University, who has a number of other programs posted.

One of the scientific benefits of having the network deployed in the state is the ability to examine how the local geology modifies the earthquake waves, thus giving us clues about crustal structure.

AZGS and the 3 state universities recently received FEMA funding to acquire 8 of the USArray stations permanently and use them to evaluate seismic hazards and risk in Arizona.

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