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Science. 2018 Aug 3;361(6401):486-490. doi: 10.1126/science.aat4458. Epub 2018 Jun 14.

Ultrastable laser interferometry for earthquake detection with terrestrial and submarine cables.

Author information

1
National Physical Laboratory, Hampton Road, Teddington TW11 0LW, UK. giuseppe.marra@npl.co.uk.
2
Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica, Strada delle Cacce 91, 10135 Turin, Italy.
3
British Geological Survey, The Lyell Centre, Research Avenue South, Edinburgh EH14 4AP, Scotland, UK.
4
Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Turin, Italy.
5
National Physical Laboratory, Hampton Road, Teddington TW11 0LW, UK.
6
Department of Physics, University of Malta, Msida MSD 2080, Malta.

Abstract

Detecting ocean-floor seismic activity is crucial for our understanding of the interior structure and dynamic behavior of Earth. However, 70% of the planet's surface is covered by water, and seismometer coverage is limited to a handful of permanent ocean bottom stations. We show that existing telecommunication optical fiber cables can detect seismic events when combined with state-of-the-art frequency metrology techniques by using the fiber itself as the sensing element. We detected earthquakes over terrestrial and submarine links with lengths ranging from 75 to 535 kilometers and a geographical distance from the earthquake's epicenter ranging from 25 to 18,500 kilometers. Implementing a global seismic network for real-time detection of underwater earthquakes requires applying the proposed technique to the existing extensive submarine optical fiber network.

PMID:
29903881
DOI:
10.1126/science.aat4458

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