Public Release: 

EARTH: Shake, rattle and roll

What does an earthquake sound like?

American Geosciences Institute

Alexandria, VA - A team of researchers may have discovered a way to hear earthquakes. Not the noises of rattling windows and crumbling buildings, but the real sounds an earthquake makes deep underground as rock grinds and fails catastrophically. Typical seismic waves have frequencies below the audible range for humans, but the August issue of EARTH shows you where to find the voice of one seismic monster: the March 11, 2011, magnitude-9.0 Tohoku earthquake in Japan.

Beyond the novelty of simply hearing an earthquake, the team found that the new technology could possibly lead to breakthroughs in other areas of seismology. How did this group manage to capture the sounds of an earthquake, and what other applications could this technology have?


Read this story and more in the August issue of EARTH Magazine, available online at Learn why Lake Erie has it all backward; discover if exoplanets exchange material with meteors; and find out why lahars don't follow traditional hazard models, all in this month's issue of EARTH.

Keep up to date with the latest happenings in Earth, energy and environment news with EARTH magazine online at Published by the American Geosciences Institute, EARTH is your source for the science behind the headlines.

The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.

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