Princeton University has developed software that can produce realistic “movies” of earthquakes based on complex computer simulations, and these visualizations will be available on the internet within hours of a disastrous upheaval. For example, this video of a 5.7 scale Earthquake off the coast of Peru occurred yesterday, September 22, 2010. “In our view, this could truly change seismic science,” said Princeton’s Jeroen Tromp, a professor of geosciences and applied and computational mathematics, who led the effort. “The better we understand what happens during earthquakes, the better prepared we can be. In addition, advances in understanding seismic waves can aid basic science efforts, helping us understand the underlying physics at work in the Earth’s interior. These visualizations, we believe, will add greatly to the research effort.”
The videos show waves of ground motion spreading out from the earthquake’s epicentre. In making them widely available, the team of computational seismologists and computer scientists hope they can aid researchers working to improve understanding of earth quakes and develop better maps of the Earth’s interior. The team describe the system and how the videos are created in a paper in the October 2010 edition of Geophysical Journal International.
The movies will be made available for free to scientists, members of the public and news organizations interested in featuring such images on television and the Internet. The easily downloadable videos can be viewed at: http://global.shakemovie.princeton.edu. They tell the story in a language that is easy to understand, said Tromp.
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Read more about this project at the ShakeMovie website.
Source: Royal Astronomical Society