12 Oct '17, 8pm

New Deep-Sea Pressure Sensor Could Monitor Dangerous Undersea Faults

For humans, almost everything is harder underwater. This also applies to seismic monitoring. On land, seismologists can festoon fault lines with wireless instruments, but offshore their options are much more limited. This is a problem because 90 percent of naturally-occurring earthquakes happen underwater. “Our sampling of what’s beneath us is very, very weak and very low resolution,” says Andrew Lamb , a geophysicist for the U.S. Geological Survey. “There’s a lot of uncertainty to it.” One way to monitor underwater seismic activity is to place pressure sensors on the seafloor. The quartz crystals within these sensors are piezoelectric, meaning they produce a small electric charge when placed under pressure. The sensors can therefore measure the pressure, or weight, of the water above them as a way to detect the very slight rise and fall of the seabed below. Such instrumen...

Full article: https://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/computing/hardware/de...

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