• Want to help scientists study seismic waves? Here's how

    By: KIRO 7 News Staff , Patranya Bhoolsuwan


    An experiment is happening from Seattle to Tacoma where the public can help seismologists collect key data.

    Seismologists at the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network at the University of Washington are conducting tests in our own backyards and need seismic station hosts.

    The team wants to better understand which areas could sustain the most "amplified shaking" from a large earthquake.

    They do this by studying seismic waves.

    "You don’t need any earthquake with this method," said research seismologist, Alex Hutko. "You only need background seismic noise, which is happening all over the earth."

    According to an explanation by PNSN, "Just like waves sloshing in a bathtub back and forth, seismic waves can get trapped in basin resulting in shaking much stronger than otherwise expected.”

    Seismologists are working to place monitoring equipment in as many locations as possible, including in people's homes and places like the Woodland Park Zoo.

     “The more info we can collect about the Seattle basin and other basin structures, the better we can understand what shaking is going to be like when a large earthquake happens,” said Hutko.

    Seismologists said the ideal location to place equipment is in a garage or basement.

    The equipment takes about an hour to set up and would collect data for 3 to 6 weeks.

    The PNSN team will be responsible for all installation and dismantling of the equipment.

    If you live in the Seattle-Tacoma area and would like to host a seismic station, follow this link.

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