Chilean earthquake picked up by seismometers in County Wicklow
SATURDAY’S VIOLENT earthquake in Chile was picked up by a monitoring station in County Wicklow.
The equipment, located in the Dublin & Wicklow Mountains, is part of a network of seismic measuring units across the country that gauges waves. The information will warn if a tsunami is likely to hit Ireland.
‘Imagine a still lake when you throw a pebble in the middle and waves move out to the edge,’ explained Tom Blake, experimental officer with the School of Cosmic Physics run by the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.
The Chilean earthquake was one of the most powerful on record, according to Tom. ‘Without a shadow of a doubt it is one of the most powerful recorded. Bear in mind the strongest ever recorded was 9.6, this is 8.8.’
The Institute started seismic monitoring on behalf of the State in 1978 and will increase the number of monitoring stations from two to six this year.
Its outreach programme, the Irish National Seismic Network, has measuring equipment in 50 schools including Moneystown National School and Scoil Chonglais, Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow. Baltinglass students Denis Patterson and Shane Curry won the award for Senior Physics, Mathematics and Chemistry at the BT Young Scientists Exhibition last year after recording schockwaves created by the devastating earthquake in Sichuan, China, which occurred on May 12 2008.
The Wicklow station also detected waves from the recent earthquake in Haiti.