A new study suggests that Fiber optic cables (constitute a global undersea telecommunications network) could help study offshore earthquakes.
Researchers from the Rice University, University of California, Berkeley, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) worked on the research paper that will be appearing in the Journal Science.
Lead author of the paper is Nate Lindsey, UC Berkeley graduate student. Jonathan Ajo-Franklin, geophysics professor, Rice University, Houston and Lindsey led the experiment with the assistance of Craig Dawe, MBARI (owns the fiber-optic cable).
The experiment was conducted in Monterey Bay for four days. From underwater fault zones scientists recorded a 3.5 magnitude quake and seismic scattering. The experiment results show that 20 kilometers of undersea fiber-optic cable can turn equivalently into 10,000 seismic stations along the ocean floor.
Authors believe that oceans are the blank spots for seismographic networks and we need seafloor seismology.
The study is important as it attempts to use dense fiber-optic networks, on both land and sea, around the world as a sensitive measure of Earth’s movement. It will be particularly advantageous for the regions that do not have expensive ground stations for Earth Quake monitoring.
This newer network will also give access to a much denser array over high precision yet sparse existing seismic networks.
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