Chilean earth­quake picked up by seis­mome­ters in County Wick­low

Bray People - - NEWS -

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.

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