Van der Lee said the seismic activity observed to coincide with the game-winning goal was “not significantly different” from activity before and after. She added that the seismometers that detected the activity were likely located in the basements of occupied buildings. “The signal shown could have been related to a family or two reacting to the goal, but the signals certainly do not stem from a mass celebration,” she said.
A high-quality seismometer at a nearby university showed “no recognizable signals related to the goal,” van der Lee said.
Her conclusion? “Convincing reports about fans in mass celebration creating seismic signals are made near the stadiums where the fans gather, not from people watching TV at home.”
Original article from 6 p.m. Monday
You could say Mexico’s stunning upset of Germany in the World Cup on Sunday was earthshaking.
After it scored the winning goal, such an eruption ensued in Mexico City (the game was played in Russia) that Mexico’s Institute of Geological and Atmospheric Research said two seismometers in its network detected a spike in activity.
In a blog post, it said the shaking was not perceptible to the general public and described it as an artificial earthquake, or “sismo artificial,” because no geologic activity was involved. No damage was reported.
Suzan van der Lee, a seismologist at Northwestern University, noted that earthquakes are not the only phenomenon that can trigger seismic signals. “Though these occurrences are not common, it’s definitely not the first time this sort of mass joy was recorded by a seismometer,” she said. “It can happen for special events that are so big that mostly everyone — at least locally — unites in celebration, such as during this World Cup game or when an underdog wins the Super Bowl. The seismic signal is likely not just caused by fans jumping but also by fans dancing around for a while.”
On Jan. 8, 2011, a seismograph a block from Seattle’s CenturyLink Field sensed vibrations after Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch scored a dramatic touchdown in a playoff game. The crowd went berserk, and the intense stomping registered outside the stadium. The seismic event was called the “12th man earthquake” or “Beast Quake.”