Earthquake Network is a research project started in January 2013 which develops a crowdsourced Earthquake Early Warning system based on networks of smartphones. The Earthquake Network project currently involves more than 260’000 people all over the world and the network has so far detected more than 435 earthquakes in real time. For all the technical details please visit the Science section or the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America journal.
Idea and functioning of Earthquake Network
The idea is to use the accelerometer on-board smartphones to detect in real-time the shaking induced by an earthquake. While the single smartphone is not reliable, a network based on a large number of devices can detect earthquakes more accurately and with a low false-alarm rate. When an earthquake is detected, a warning is issued toward all the smartphones in the network. If you are not too close to the epicenter, you can receive the alert in advance and you can take cover before you are reached by the damaging waves of the earthquake. A few seconds are enough to move to a safe location in the building, avoiding the worst consequences. On the other hand, if you are nearby the epicentre, the system will automatically send your coordinates to a list of trusted contacts before Internet becomes inoperable. This will help to find and recover people trapped under the rubble more easily, especially if the quake hits when people are not necessarily at home.
To be part of the Earthquake Network project install the Earthquake Network Android application on your device. The application allows to:
- Receive real-time notifications of the earthquakes detected by the network
- Manually report an earthquake and see the map of all the user reports in real-time
- Receive the notifications of the earthquakes detected by the international seismic networks of USGS, EMSC and others
- Automatically send emergency SMS and e-mail to a list of contacts
- Chat with other people during an earthquake emergency
For more details please visit the Wikipedia page.