It’s Instrumental!

2021 Dec 2nd

John Milne’s contributions to modern seismology

In the late 1800s, the field of seismology was limited by the scarcity and simplicity of seismographs. These instruments tended to be extremely large, with some being several meters long and using massive inertial weights. Yet, despite their extreme size, most were only sensitive enough to record lo... Continue Reading

2021 Nov 29th

Why do my squiggles look funny?

by Dr. Adam Ringler, USGS To globally detect earthquakes, seismometers are designed to be incredibly sensitive instruments.  These instruments are so sensitive that they can record changes in ground motion at atomic levels. Thousands of these impressive instruments are installed all over the ... Continue Reading

2021 Aug 17th

Seismic Instrumentation (and More!) at the PASSCAL Instrument Center

(ABOVE: Bangladeshi locals look on as PASSCAL field engineer Alissa Scire and BIMA project member Celine Grall install a seismic station as part of the Tripartite-BIMA (Bangladesh-India-Myanmar Array) deployment. Photo credit: Leonardo Seeber, LDEO) by Dr. Justin Sweet, IRIS PASSCAL (Photo ... Continue Reading

2021 Jun 28th

What is a seismograph and how does it work?

Modified from IRIS one-pager Fact Sheet A seismograph is a device for measuring the movement of the earth, and consists of a ground-motion detection sensor, called a seismometer, coupled with a recording system. A simple seismometer that is sensitive to up-down motions of the earth can be understoo... Continue Reading

2021 Jun 10th


by Dr. Wendy Bohon, IRIS Seismometers are instruments that measure the motion of the ground and they are most commonly used to measure earthquakes. However, they can detect ground motion caused by just about anything that makes the ground, or the structure where they’re located, move and shak... Continue Reading

2021 Mar 19th

What is Raspberry Shake?

By Mike Hotchkiss, Raspberry Shake Traditional seismographs are complicated to set up and expensive to maintain, making them impractical for use in some remote locations and in countries lacking the resources to install seismic networks. The development of low-cost, easy to use seismographs, like R... Continue Reading