Ever wondered how to read the data on a seismogram?
This playful animation created for the general public by the USGS describes what a seismogram is, how they are recorded and what to look for in the seismic traces recorded on a seismometer.
Seismometers measure vibrations. More vibration = more wiggle. Some seismometers measure only up and down. Sometimes, they shake too much and data are off-scale. Some seismometers record in all three dimensions. Many webicorders display 15 minutes per line, alternating colors as time passes. Plots are automatically updated every few minutes.
Seismometers record anything that can make the ground vibrate:
- Ocean waves,
- Traffic and trains
- People and animals