Scientists with the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network installed instruments to provide real-time monitoring of the Seattle Seahawks’ stadium movement during the 2015 NFL playoffs. The network monitors earthquake and volcanic activity throughout the region. Scientists first got interested in football when a seismometer a block away from the stadium showed vibrations during Marshawn Lynch’s legendary Jan. 8, 2011 touchdown run. The resulting seismograph coined the term “Beast Quake.”
A Beast Quake happens when the energetic jumping and stomping of so many fans at once shakes the stadium and reverberates through the surrounding soil. The foot-stomping is a real-world test of technology to detect the bigger shaking that originates underground. The seismic group is working with the U.S. Geological Survey to offer early warnings that could provide tens of seconds to several minutes’ notice of an incoming strong shaking.