Your Laptop Could Be an Earthquake Detector

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bogcotton

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in fact, they can only pick up tremors of about magnitude 4.0 and above – but it would still be valuable information for warning surrounding areas.
So all I have to do to prank a whole town is get a few friends to shake their laptops with me?

This idea has an undertone of sensibility, but come on!
It's rediculous.
 

rage machine

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So, let me get this straight...

It will send out a warning so that people 2 and a half seconds away have that 2 and a half seconds to get to safety? This just doesn't make sense.
 

tacoslave

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[citation][nom]dogman_1234[/nom]It is not a detector or a predictor, it is a build in seimigraph.We will never predict quakes at all for they are spontaneous![/citation]

Damn strait. Get this though it detects earthquakes like 3 seconds before they happen. Useless.
 

brendano257

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[citation][nom]jay236[/nom]Geologists already use far more reliable detectors that would ACTUALLY save lives.[/citation]

This is true, and although this sort of software isn't very helpful, the point is it provides some amount of detection since none of us have personal geologists following us around.
 

DM0407

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I think this is more useful for researching AFTER the tremor.

P and S waves can be triangulated to better understand the earths guts.
 

warmon6

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while i like the idea, it's just not practical. Few problems with it,

1. How would tell the difference between someone moving the laptop and a earth quake?

2. as other people pointed out, unless you got a warning system on you and your very far away from the quake , you wont have enough time to react.
 

GeoMan

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Once again some pretty poor science reporting. The whole point isn’t to give advanced quake warning it’s to identify the size and distribution of quake intensity so that emergency response can be quickly and efficiently organized. The data produced from a monitoring system like this could be used to augment systems like PAGER (Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response). So a mag 7.0 in central Antarctica that set off the accelerometers of two researchers laptops won’t get the whole world mobilized for emergency response, whereas a 7.0 near Los Angeles that sets off 500 000 laptops and it’s time to start breaking out the tents and fresh drinking water supplies.
 

GeoMan

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On other side notes, responses to some of the posts so far. A system like this only works by analyzing lots of data, so individual laptop movements won’t raise any flags, but if tens or hundreds of laptops in more or less the same area all have the accelerometers triggered at the same time, that will be picked up on the servers getting feedback from all the laptops on the network.

The accelerometers on laptops anent nearly accurate enough to reliably give the arrival times of P or S waves, or for that matter reliably tell the difference between P or S waves, plus you would need very precise location data to use this data in earth tomography or deep earth structure interpretation.

And finally to reiterate this wouldn’t be used as an early warning system, at absolute best you would get seconds warning, but the ground shaking and the building you’re in falling on your head would probably be your first warning sign of a major quake. This is only useful as an indicator of the human impact of a quake by interpreting the feedback from lots of laptops.
 

rebturtle

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Poor "me too" reporting on a program that is years old. How about highlighting the "Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing" (BOINC) software that makes this and dozens of other scientific projects possible with the help of everyday people donating computer resources?
 

jkflipflop98

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[citation][nom]dogman_1234[/nom]It is not a detector or a predictor, it is a build in seimigraph.We will never predict quakes at all for they are spontaneous![/citation]

That's not completely true. Earthquakes are a build up of pressure between 2 faces of tectonic plates. Now, each plate junction has a differing friction coefficent because they're all made of something different.

One simply needs to drop some "scales" that read the Earth's built-up pressure in and near these junctions. Once it's known the relative pressure needed for the plates to start sliding and cause an event, it should be easy to have "Earthquake threat levels" based on the amount of pressure that been building up on your insturmentation. This wouldn't work on all types of Earthquakes, but the people in California would love it.

That wasn't so hard.
 
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