Earthquakes are fairly hard to predict and when one occurs, it is pretty difficult to gather real-time data on it. However, scientists may soon be able to resolve this problem by relying on smartphones. Researchers claim that in the coming days, smartphones may also be used as earthquake sensors.
Nearly all recent smartphones come equipped with a MEMS accelerometer. Given their nature, this sensor can be used to measure many things. Scientists are now of the opinion that it may also serve as an earthquake sensor.
The MEMS accelerometers in today’s smartphones allow them to detect an earthquake that has a magnitude of five or higher. The ability to detect an earthquake also depends on the sensor’s position with respect to the epicenter of the quake.
Scientist are confident that in the coming days, the accelerometers could be fashioned so that they will be able to detect even earthquakes of lower magnitude. More sensitive sensors will then serve as the perfect tool to record real-time data on happening earthquakes.
In fact, given the fact that smartphones are used extensively by the masses, an ‘urban seismic network’ could be established. This will comprise of many users recording earthquake data in real-time and then providing it to the authorities. Such an extensive and original body of data can immensely help the scientists analyze earthquakes. Not only that, it may serve as an excellent tool to research on quakes and seismic activity in remoter regions and may especially be true for recording seismic activity under water.
Courtesy: The Verge