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Earth Science

How a Shaking Stadium Is Helping Scientists Track Earthquakes 25

vinces99 writes Researchers are installing three seismometers in Seattle's CenturyLink stadium to monitor shaking from Seahawks fans during Saturday's NFL playoff game. The new, faster data transmission will show crowd motion on the website before a touchdown shows up on the 10-second delayed TV broadcast. Researchers dub these "Early Earthquake Rowdiness Warnings." A guaranteed shaking and intense public interest gives the seismologists a unique opportunity to test new technology that gives seconds to minutes warning of a real earthquake.
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How a Shaking Stadium Is Helping Scientists Track Earthquakes

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  • No wonder they give ticket discounts to obese people.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    They do know earthquakes aren't on the same delay as the game's TV broadcasts, right?

    • by Sowelu ( 713889 ) on Thursday January 08, 2015 @08:31PM (#48770481)

      The vibrations don't travel instantly through the surrounding geology, so if you know instantly when a quake happens at the epicenter, you can still give meaningful warning to people in outlying areas. Also (as a non-geologist), I suppose there's probably patterns that show up before the biggest part of the quake...if you start feeling what seems like a 3.0, but your phone can alarm with "This is going to get up to an 8.0 in twenty seconds", it could save your life.

    • They do know earthquakes aren't on the same delay as the game's TV broadcasts, right?

      Depends on how far you are away from the epicentre. Earthquakes travel at approximately the speed of sound. I've had notification of an earthquake before I felt it before -- it's a somewhat spooky experience.

  • by steveha ( 103154 ) on Thursday January 08, 2015 @07:36PM (#48770071) Homepage

    The Seahawks stadium is designed to be loud. It tends to focus noise rather than dissipate it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CenturyLink_Field#Home_field_advantage [wikipedia.org]

    http://www.businessinsider.com/seattle-seahawks-stadium-loud-2014-1 [businessinsider.com]

    http://mynorthwest.com/25/702605/Why-NFLs-new-noise-rules-may-hurt-the-Seahawks [mynorthwest.com]

    I guess the fans like to do loud things like stomping as well. So this really is the right place for this sort of experiment.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      While the stadium may help, the visiting teams didn't like the Kingdome either. It's simply the fans, period. Take the Seattle fans and put them in another other stadium and they will make more noise than that stadium's typical fans.

      Not to mention that the Clink, Kingdome and Safeco Field are all built on top of was it essentially garbage, sawdust and other land fill...

  • The NFL will cite some kind of copyright infringement and kill the whole thing.

  • When they're done, send them down to New Zealand and tell us how to fix our stadium. Four years after the Christchurch earthquake, ours is an abandoned concrete tomb that looks fine but is apparently damaged beyond use. It was under-insured. The insurance companies will only pay out to repair it, other engineers say that's impossible.

    The second biggest problem with earthquakes is how to fix what nature has trashed. The biggest issue we have had has been global reinsurance companies "reinterpreting" thei

    • The biggest issue we have had has been global reinsurance companies "reinterpreting" their obligations.

      Oldest trick in the book. A man's bonus depends on it.

      And it sounds like like somebody is trying to profit from the wreck. I'm sure the property owners have enough money to clean it up, and probably should be ordered to do so or lose the title.

      • Sadly, the property owner is the City Council, who is facing massive funding shortfalls due to having to repair huge amounts of infrastructure on top of repairing thousands of under-insured buildings.

        Basically, if you're a mucky-muck for a city, you need to have a close look at what's happened here to make sure it can't there.

    • The insurance companies will only pay out to repair it, other engineers say that's impossible.

      If the stadium owners thought insurance was the way to go, they were highly mistaken and this proves the point.

      Insurance is the biggest scam out there. It doesn't matter what the insurance policy says, insurance companies will do everything in their power not to pay out anything or at best, a token amount.

      Witness what happened when Katrina (a hurricane for those not in the know) hit Louisiana. The
  • I've always been surprised by the Beast Quake phenomenon as I wouldn't imagine that fans screaming and stopping would occur at a frequency that resonates with the ground's natural frequency. If someone herw knows something about geology and earthquake harmonics, I'd be interested to hear a better explanation. Is it just that there is one rather large jouncing type event that is felt some distance away or is there a sustained resonance?

  • Publicity Stunt (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I work a block from Centurylink Field. A contractor is currently running a piledriver in the Centurylink parking lot for the construction of a new hotel and will be driving over 100 piles through mid-March. The piledriver shakes my office building; Monday night football does not. The pilediver vibrations would provide a more realistic representation of seisimic activity in the area, not to mention an abundance of samples. This is simply a chance for the University of Washington (with its huge Husky Football

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