Quakefinder Blog

Did you see it? M7.0 in Peru Wednesday August 24

Although QuakeFinder placed two of its instruments in Peru in 2010, yesterday’s quake was too far away for them to detect. The magnetic effects that our instruments measure dissipate rapidly with distance (1/r3) so we do not expect to pick up signals when an earthquake is more than about 20 miles from a sensor – the epicenter of Wednesday’s M7.0 was more than 350 miles from our nearest instrument. Although there have been several earthquakes in recent years in the same spot as yesterday’s, two things make this site undesirable for our research purposes: 1) it is in a dense jungle region, make it inaccessible, and 2) the earthquakes there are very deep, making them harder to detect. We are in the midst of a major expansion of our instrument network. Four more will be installed in Peru next month. Even then, they will be concentrated in an area far south of where the latest quake hit. The challenges of putting out enough instruments to catch lots of quakes quickly are large. We need to focus on areas with high concentration of quakes, that are also reasonable accessible. So our Peru sites are located near the Chilean border, far from Peru’s border with Brazil border where Wednesday’s quake was centered.

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