Strange Science: Listening to Earthquake Data

Large crack in road surface caused by earthquakeSeismologists have an overabundance of seismic data and not enough time to sift through it all. In order to make their lives a little easier, seismologists at Northwestern University have launched a program called “Earthquake Detective.” Through this program, they’re able to get non-scientists to help them process the data.

The trick is in a bit of code that translates seismic frequencies into audible pitches, which allows the non-scientists to listen to the data and classify it as earthquakes, tremors, or just background noise. Then the seismologists can use the processed data to learn more about how, where, when, and why earthquakes happen.

To learn more about this program, including how to participate, check out this article!

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