What does a 9.0-magnitude earthquake sound like as it moves through the earth? Intense.
Zhigang Peng, associate professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, has taken the recorded seismic measurements from last year's historic Japan earthquake and made them audible. He's sped up the data in order to increase the frequency to audible levels.
“We’re able to bring earthquake data to life by combining seismic auditory and visual information,” said Peng, whose research is described in more detail here. “People are able to hear pitch and amplitude changes while watching seismic frequency changes. Audiences can relate the earthquake signals to familiar sounds such as thunder, popcorn popping and fireworks.”
For example, the measurements shown to the right were taken near the coastline of Japan between Fukushima and Tokyo. The initial blast of sound is the 9.0 mainshock. As the earth’s plates slipped dozens of meters into new positions, aftershocks occured. They are indicated by “pop” noises immediately following the mainshock sound. These plate adjustments will likely continue for years
The one year anniversary of the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear crisis is this Sunday, March 11. For more coverage, visit http://www.gatech.edu/experts/japan-anniversary
For more information, or to schedule an interview, please contact: