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Published on Mar 6, 2012
In this recording of the 2011 Japanese earthquake, taken from measurements in California, the quake created subtle movements deep in the San Andreas Fault. The initial noise, which sounds like distant thunder, corresponds with the Japanese mainshock. Afterwards, a continuous high-pitch sound, similar to rainfall that turns on and off, represents induced tremor activity at the fault. This animation not only help scientists explain the concept of distant triggering to general audiences, but also provides a useful tool for researchers to better identify and understand such seismic signals in other regions.
Georgia Tech Associate Professor Zhigang Peng has converted the seismic waves from last year's earthquakes into audio files. The results allow experts and general audiences to "hear" what the quake sounded like as it moved through the earth and around the globe.