Earthquake research is shaking up citizen science

By May 6th, 2010 at 11:22 pm | Comment

Quake Catcher Network Globe

Quake-Catcher Network is one of several earthquake-related citizen science projects.

Recent earthquakes in China, Haiti, Chili, Mexico, and elsewhere have provided a clear reminder of the devastation and loss of human life that can occur when an earthquake strikes in populated areas. Though scientists cannot currently predict earthquakes, there is an amazing wealth of research being conducted around the world to provide a better understanding of the timing, impacts, mechanics, and history of earthquakes.

You can help! Below, I’ve listed a few of the earthquake-related citizen science projects in our Project Finder:

The Twitter Earthquake Detection Program is investigating the use of Twitter to collect and analyze citizen accounts of earthquakes around the world. The project gathers real-time, earthquake-related messages from Twitter and applies place, time, and keyword filtering to gather geo-located accounts of shaking.

“Did You Feel It?” provides an opportunity for people who experience an earthquake to help create a map of shaking intensities and damage. By answering basic questions like “Did the earthquake wake you up?” and “Did objects fall off shelves?,” anyone can share the effects of an earthquake and the extent of damage.  The resulting “Community Internet Intensity Maps” contribute greatly to the quick assessment of the scope of an earthquake emergency and provide valuable data for earthquake research.

Quake-Catcher Network is linking volunteers’ laptops and desktops in hopes of forming the world’s largest and densest earthquake monitoring system. Quake-Catcher Network provides the software, and you join other citizen scientists in improving earthquake monitoring, earthquake awareness, and the science of earthquakes.

Do you know of any other earthquake-related citizen science projects?  If so, please submit that project to our growing Project Finder database. You’ll help fellow citizen scientists find new opportunities and hopefully build more awareness for the project coordinators.

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