Sportress of Blogitude

Scientists to test seismic sensors at CenturyLink Field during Seahawks game


Ever since the famous “BeastQuake” that occurred when Marshawn Lynch scored on an epic 67-yard touchdown run during a Wild Card game against the New Orleans Saints in 2011, Seattle Seahawks fans, a/k/a “The 12th Man,” have become renowned for their incredibly passionate, ear-splitting and ground-shaking support for the home team.

So much so, in fact, seismologists have been drawn to CenturyLink Field, viewing the stadium as a potential testing ground of sorts where they can test earthquake alert/preparedness technologies.

Scientists from the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network will install instruments to measure seismic activiety at the Seahawks stadium Thursday in advance of the team’s playoff showdown with the Carolina Panthers on Saturday.

University of Washington researchers also will be testing out a new tool during the weekend’s Divisional Round playoff game. Called QuickShake, which will increase the speed by which seismic data collected by sensors throughout the stadium is sent to the site, apparently within three seconds.

This means that fans watching the game on television while tracking seismic activity on the website will know a big play has occurred even before it is shown on television, given a typical broadcast delay of about 30 seconds.

The ability to utilize the environment-impacting actions of Seahawks fans during games will help test the system, which could be used to send out earthquake-related warnings, to make sure it won’t crash with thousands of peopleĀ  monitoring the site.

“In this case, it’s football fan activity that generates a signal as a warning for what shows up on TV some seconds later. In the future, it might be seconds to minutes of warning after an earthquake starts,” said Steve Malone, UW professor emeritus of Earth & space sciences, via a KING5 report.

Whether or not another Richter Scale-worthy eruption of ground-shaking euphoria will occur this weekend is unknown, but if it does, the scientists will be ready. And it likely will be an earth-moving event.

To wit: Below is the video of Lynch’s “BeastQuake” touchdown run:

And here’s the seismic activity recorded during it:

Wow. Science.

[H/T Sporting News]