Hunting for earthquakes

Ever since Kerry Key was knighted as an ‘Earthquake Hunter’ on San Diego’s local Fox News station back in 2010 (during the SERPENT research cruise), I too have always wanted to claim this title. After perusing through some of the time-series data from this survey, I am happy to report that we recorded several earthquakes.

The OBEM receivers are equipped with induction coil magnetometers, which are magnetic field sensors that moonlight as seismometers since they are highly sensitive to tilt motions (check out the recent paper by Barak et al on the publications webpage for more insight). The screenshot below shows the signal generated by a magnitude (Mw) 5.0 earthquake on the magnetic field data of three OBEM receivers. This particular earthquake occured over 1100 km away!

Yellow star shows epicenter of (Mw 5.0) earthquake that occured at 12:48pm on Christmas day (UTC). Red triangles show the location of the three OBEMs whose magnetic field recordings are plotted in the figure below.