Detect earthquakes from around the world with this amazing kit built from LEGO parts!
- 50 Lego pieces
- Copper coil
- Copper damper
- Clear plastic cover to protect from air movement
- Spring steel
Needs additional electronics (interface/digitiser) to capture data.
The ‘Build your own seismometer’ was designed in collaboration with the British Geological Survey’s school seismology project www.bgs.ac.uk/ssp . The simple design converts vertical ground vibrations into voltages and works in the frequency range 1-2Hz up to 25 Hz, when combined with the mindsets digitiser and the free educational datalogging software jamaseis https://www.iris.edu/hq/inclass/software-web-app/jamaseis the system allows schools and home users to set up their own seismic monitoring station http://www.bgs.ac.uk/discoveringGeology/hazards/earthquakes/locatingQuakes.html
Since the sensor responds to relatively high frequency signals (for seismology) it works best as a tool for sensing vibrations from local sources. The initial design was used in Leicester as part of the Leicester City football quake project where vardyquakes are detected up to a couple of km from the football stadium every time Leicester score a home goal. http://www.bgs.ac.uk/discoveringGeology/hazards/earthquakes/FootballQuake/home.html
The sensor can also detect other local noise sources like freight trains (again up to a couple of km from the tracks) or other manmade noise sources (like students or traffic). Two or three times each year we would expect to record a signal from a small (M3) UK earthquake.
About once or twice per month a large (>M6 ) earthquake will happen somewhere in the world at a time when most schools are closed and quiet http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/world/M5/ .
Surprisingly it is possible for these lego sensors to detect the P waves arriving from earthquakes as distant as Chile, Japan or Indonesia. P waves are longitudinal seismic waves that travel through the earth and can reach a seismic station on the other side of the world in about 10 minutes. Because it does not record signals with frequencies below 1Hz this sensor does not register seismic S waves or Surface waves from distant events.