Seismology

Fiber-optic earthquake detection

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Science  15 Dec 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6369, pp. 1398-1399
DOI: 10.1126/science.358.6369.1398-g

The seismic networks used to detect earthquakes are limited spatially because they require expensive seismometers to be placed, monitored, and maintained. Lindsey et al. show how fiber optics can be used for seismic recording, using a technique known as distributed acoustic sensing (DAS). Three examples show how DAS can detect ground motions—in Alaska, in the Geysers Geothermal Field in California, and even using fiber-optic cables in existing telecommunication conduits. These case studies show the potential for using DAS systems as massive seismometer arrays in hard-to-access locations, possibly by using preexisting fiber-optic networks.

Geophys. Res. Lett. 10.1002/2017GL075722 (2017).

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