New App Alters Earthquake Science.
Posted 13 February 2016 - 07:34 AM
There's an app for that.
"MyShake cannot replace traditional seismic networks like those run by the U.S. Geological Survey," said Richard Allen, leader of the app project and director of the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory.
"But we think MyShake can make earthquake early warning faster and more accurate in areas that have a traditional seismic network, and can provide life-saving early warning in countries that have no seismic network."
Earthquake-prone countries in the developing world with poor ground-based seismic network or early warning systems include Nepal, Peru, Pakistan, Turkmenistan and Iran, he said.
The algorithm behind MyShake, developed by a handful of Silicon Valley programmers, relies on the same technology smartphone gamers depend on to sense the phone's orientation, known as the accelerometer, in order to measure movement caused by quakes.
What smartphones lack in sensitivity - they can only record earthquakes above magnitude 5 within 10 kilometers (6 miles) - they make up for in ubiquity.