|How can we locate earthquakes?
|Question Date: 2013-11-12|
We can locate Earthquakes, because we know how
fast they travel. If we figure out how long it
takes the Earthquake to get to at least 3
different seismometers then we can triangulate the
location of the epicenter, because there is only 1
place that is the right distance from all of the
Please look at the picture. here
Fantastic question! Earthquakes are precisely
located by the use of seismometers—machines that
detect the motion of the Earth at a specific
place. There are hundreds of such seismometers
around the world. When an earthquake occurs,
waves propagate from its epicenter and are
recorded by the detectors a certain time after the
initial shake. By understanding basic geometry,
scientists can triangulate the point of origin:
with a single detector, we can determine a circle
of points where the earthquake could have
originated; with two detectors we can find exactly
two points where two circles intersect; and
finally with three detectors there is only a
single point where all three circles intersect.
This principle is very similar in GPS technology.
A more complex analysis of seismology might
require considering factors such as soil
composition or density and geographic features
such as mountains or bodies of water
The same way you know which direction sounds came
from. The waves generated by earthquakes expand
outward from the point of origin of the quake. By
measuring the time when the waves reach several
recording stations, you can triangulate where the
waves came from - the origin point of the quake.
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