Twittering Earthquakes

It does make me wonder if we could create a distributed alarm system that might alert people that were far enough removed from the epicenter. It wouldn’t be useful for small quakes but for big ones it might give people enough warning to do some good (assuming the system wasn’t swamped by false alarms) .

2 thoughts on “Relocalization”

  1. As soon as I saw that cartoon I was reminded that a system along those lines already exists. If you’re interested, take a look here. The chap who designed it used to work for my current employer, where BOINC is also used. QCN uses the accelerometer in laptops, or a USB plugin for desktops, to detect quakes and cross-references reports from machines in the same general area to determine if it’s a false alarm. Apparently they have successfully detected several quakes, although not really in the centre of Europe where there seem to be a lot of users.

  2. The USGS has been talking about something like this for years here in California. The problem is two-fold – what do you really gain and what about false alarms?

    One conceptual application is to block BART trains from entering the tunnels on the system, especially the one through the fault inside the East Bay hills. Better to build a better tunnel.

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