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UW scientists to observe seismic activity from Seahawks fans during divisional playoff vs Saints
Saturday's forecast at CenturyLink Field calls for cloudy skies, a kickoff temperature of 47 degrees, 23 mile-per-hour winds to the south, a 70 percent chance of rain, and the anticipation of an earthquake or two.
In preparation for tomorrow's NFC divisional playoff between the Seahawks and New Orleans Saints, seismologists from the University of Washington have installed two strong-motion seismometers at CenturyLink Field to enhance an existing station in recording "earthquakes" expected from crowd noise generated by Seattle's 12th Man.
The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network is behind the effort and has set up a website to track the activity in near-real time. Seismologists are planning to highlight any interesting signals received on Twitter and Facebook during the game.
The experiment provides a test of the equipment used to monitor aftershocks following a traditional (i.e. not-12th-Man generated) earthquake and UW scientists are hoping to gain a better understanding of how the stadium responds to the fanatic activity.
Hopefully, if all goes well, the Seahawks give the 12s a thing or two to cheer about tomorrow, and the off-the-wall experiment is a rousing success.
Breaking Down The "Beast Quake"
Seismic waves created during the 2011 "Beast Quake" traveled through the soft soils of the neighborhood near CenturyLink Field. John Vidale, a UW professor of Earth and space sciences, noticed the unique signal from the strong-motion station near the stadium and plotted a seismogram, adding notations on when specific events occurred within the stadium (via University of Washington)