When a temblor hits, it may be hard to immediately assess the impact in each neighborhood. A Caltech professor is hoping to change that with a community seismology project.
Robert Clayton, a geophysics professor at the university, is looking for 1,000 volunteers to monitor small seismometers in their homes. The wallet-sized devices plug into a computer’s USB port and require an Internet connection. There’s one caveat: the computer must remain turned on at all times.
Caltech says the project will create earthquake maps that can alert authorities and ambulances to streets — and possibly even floors — hit the hardest.
The seismometers are not high end and are worth about $100 a pop. While one may not detect much earthquake damage, a network of 1,000 will and costs about the same as one professional station, according to the university.
The project aims to close the gap between between stations in Pasadena from 10 miles to a quarter of a mile.
Clayton hopes to expand the Community Seismic Network to Los Angeles and areas of Orange County. But for now, he’s just looking for volunteers in Pasadena.
He encourages volunteers to have fun with their devices — even jumping in their homes to see how the seismogram records movement.
To sign up for a seismometer, go to the Community Seismic Network's website.
-- Tiffany Kelly, Times Community News