facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Study: Superstorm Sandy 'lit up' seismographs across the United States

April 18, 2013 at 5:00 PM   |   Comments

SALT LAKE CITY, April 18 (UPI) -- When superstorm Sandy hit in October, the impact of its waves on the seafloor were detected by seismometers across much of the United States, scientists say.

"We detected seismic waves created by the ocean's waves both hitting the East Coast and smashing into each other," with the most intense seismic activity recorded when Sandy turned toward Long Island, New York and New Jersey, Keith Koper, director of the University of Utah Seismograph Stations, said.

Oner Sufri, a Utah doctoral student who co-authored a study with Koper, was in Salt Lake City Thursday for the Seismological Society of America's annual meeting.

"We were able to track the hurricane by looking at the 'microseisms' [relatively small seismic waves] generated by Sandy," Sufri said. "As the storm turned west-northwest, the seismometers lit up."

Some of the shaking was caused by waves hitting the East Coast but much more was the result of waves colliding with other waves in the ocean, setting up "standing waves" that reach the seafloor and transmit energy to it, Sufri and Koper said.

Sandy's microseisms ranged from roughly 2 to 3 on an earthquake magnitude scale, Koper said, adding a conversion is difficult because earthquakes pack a quick punch while storms unleash their energy for many hours.

While seismologists didn't track Sandy in real time, he said, the seismographic data of the storm suggests it might be possible to help track ocean storms in the future using their seismicity.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Most Popular
1
Climate change, sea level rise threaten national monuments Climate change, sea level rise threaten national monuments
2
Study: Chimps are natural born killers Study: Chimps are natural born killers
3
Martian meteorite proof that Mars could host life Martian meteorite proof that Mars could host life
4
Dogs are the favorite food of leopards in rural India Dogs are the favorite food of leopards in rural India
5
Audi gets permit to test self-driving cars in California Audi gets permit to test self-driving cars in California
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback