Via the excellent BLDGBLOG: German artist Florian Dombois translates the subaudible sound of plate tectonics into something the human ear can hear, revealing unique geological characteristics of brewing earthquakes around the planet. Says Dombois:
Usually seismic waves have a frequency spectrum below 1 Hz and therefore cases are rare where earthquakes are accompanied by hearable sounds. The human audio spectrum ranges between 20 Hz - 20 kHz which is much above the spectrum of the earth's rumbling and tumbling. This is one of the reasons why seismometric records are commonly studied by the eye and visual criteria. Nevertheless if one compresses the time axis of a seismogram by about 2000 times and plays it on a speaker (so called 'audification'), the seismometric record becomes hearable and can be studied by the ear and acoustic criteria.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Of interest to us locally is audio of the 1994 Northridge quake sourced from a string of stations between Santa Barbara and Victorville and a global comparison sampling faultlines in California ("SLAM!") and Hawaii ("errrrrrPLOOP!") and Japan ("THROOOOoooom") and more. Complete study of Auditory Seismology starts here. Further fans of Earth music please visit here and here and don't forget here if you're interested in the Next Big Thing.