Experience the sound of a powerful Earthquake

Strong Motion seismometer that measures accele...

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Thanks to the great service of USGS, we are able to share the sound of a couple of earthquakes to our readers.
As every earthquake has it’s own fingerprint, the sound  going together with it can be seriously different.  Depending on the  Magnitude, rock material, fault lines, etc. the frequency can be low or high and the sound can be short or rolling.

It may be easier to hear the small triggered earthquakes than it is to see them. The Landers earthquake is far from the seismometer so most of its high frequencies have died away before the waves reach the seismometer. But the small earthquakes have small fault areas and therefore produced high frequency energy and because they are near the seismometer this energy has not died away.

Listen to the seismogram recorded at the Long Valley Caldera and see if you can hear the small earthquakes (high frequency bursts) despite the low rumble of the distant large earthquake. Click the sideways triangle (or play button) to hear the sound.

If you are having trouble picking out the small nearby earthquakes, listen for the two very close to the end and then listen to the seismogram again.

Listen to the seismogram recorded at the Long Valley Caldera and see if you can hear the small earthquakes (high frequency bursts) despite the low rumble of the distant large earthquake. Click the sideways triangle (or play button) to hear the sound.

Long Valley Caldera Seismogram

Earthquake sound 1

If you are having trouble picking out the small nearby earthquakes, listen for the two very close to the end and then listen to the seismogram again.


Here are two more seismograms of the Landers earthquake. One is recorded at Parkfield near Paso Robles and the other is recorded at the Geysers north of San Francisco. Only one of these areas had small earthquakes triggered by the Landers event. Can you tell which one?

 

Parkfield Seismogram

Earthquake sound 2

Geysers Seismogram

Earthquake sound 3

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