In The Field

AGU: Footquakes

It makes me sad that my fine colleagues and rivals at Science magazine already beat me to this story, but it is too much fun not to note here. There’s a poster here at AGU in which seismologists report detecting ‘footquakes’ – the sound of jubilant soccer fans (football to you British types) celebrating goals during a major competition.

Garrett Euler, of Washington University in St. Louis and colleagues, were initially puzzled by instaneous tremors that appeared to happen all over Cameroon one day soon after the researchers installed new seismic equipment. But finally one of them figured out it was the stomping of joyous fans across the country, each time the Cameroon team scored a goal in the African Cup of Nations. And the stomping got worse the longer the match went on. “Goals that came later in the match – when the tensions were near boiling point – caused substantially larger tremors,” they write.

For the full story, go to page 13 of the IRIS seismology newsletter found here.


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