Tag Archives: seismometers

Seismometer Puts Earthquakes Online at Kent School

First posted on the Earth Institute’s State of the Planet blog on Dec. 2, 2011

seismograph, Kent School, Connecticut

The latest station in the Lamont-Doherty Cooperative Seismographic Network, at the Kent School in Connecticut, in its new home. Photo: D. Funkhouser

A well-traveled seismometer sits tucked inside a concrete chamber behind the Kent School chapel in Northwest Connecticut, recording earthquakes. The latest event was on Nov. 28 – a minor shake of magnitude 2.0 just north of Medina, N.Y.

Scientists from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory installed the seismograph at Kent in early November – the latest addition to the 40-year-old Lamont-Doherty Cooperative Seismographic Network, which tracks earthquakes around the Northeast. Scores of small earthquakes, mostly unfelt by people, send elastic waves coursing through the ground in the Northeast each year. They’re recorded by more than 40 stations operated by the network, and by other stations that make up a national grid of seismographic sensors.

Now and then comes a larger one – like the 5.8 quake centered in rural Virginia that shook up and down the East Coast. But large or small, they all add to our knowledge of the geology underlying our region, and eventually, perhaps, to a better understanding of the how and why of earthquakes.

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Where Continents Divide, and Rocks Rise from the Deep

First posted Dec. 6, 2011 on the Earth Institute’s State of the Planet blog.

Papua New Guinea, seismometer, earthquakes

A typical seismometer installation on Goodenough Island, Papua New Guinea, from an earlier expedition in 1999. Photo: CDPapua project.

Along the Woodlark Rift, a long break in the earth’s crust in eastern Papua New Guinea, continents are breaking apart, “like a snake opening its mouth.” Geologic processes that are still a mystery are actively stretching the crust and pushing huge masses of rock, formed under immense pressures as deep as 100 kilometers below, to the surface. Offshore, the ocean floor is spreading.

The setting offers a unique opportunity for scientists to study the powerful forces reshaping the surface of the earth, responsible for the movement of continents and creation of oceans.

Papua New Guinea, seismometers, earthquakes

Map shows locations of seismometers deployed to study movements of the earth around eastern Papua New Guinea. Image: CDPapua project.

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