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Earthquake Sensors Installed Inside San Jose Earthquakes Stadium

21 Mar 2015, 2:19 pm


In an effort to better understand earthquakes in the southern portion of the Bay Area, seismologists from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) installed earthquake sensors this week at the new home of the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer.

A team of geophysicists put in the sensors this week at Avaya Stadium in San Jose in time for MLS’ season opener and as part of a wider-ranging project.

It’s part of the USGS’ focus on installing additional sensors in urban areas to gain a better understanding for how seismic shaking impacts population centers and to help with assessing construction standards for specific areas that may be impacted by earthquakes in a different way.

The Bay Area, of course, sits on the San Andreas Fault, making it one of the most earthquake-prone areas in the world. Most recently, in 1989, the Loma Prieta Earthquake killed 63 people and injured over 3,000 and caused over five billion dollars’ worth of damage. Scientists are trying to gain a better understanding for how earthquakes work in urban areas to figure out how certain types of shaking impact urban areas and if certain portions of urban areas are affected worse than others due to geography and the makeup of the ground below.

But the new sensors are sensitive enough to not just pick up earthquakes; they can also detect vibrations from large, vibrant crowds at Earthquakes (no pun intended) home games.

Meteorologist Chris Bianchi

Photos: courtesy of USGS

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