What is a seismographer

Vogt, Gregory. A typical seismograph contains 3 pendulums: Time-Life Books, 1982.

Measure Earthquakes with your own Seismograph - One Stop Science Shop

When the ground shook, the motion of the mercury made an electrical contact that stopped a clock and simultaneously started a recording drum on which the motion of a float on the surface of mercury was registered.

Data on ground shaking are thus available within seconds of a local damaging earthquake.

what is a seismographer

Seismographs evolved from seismoscopes, which can detect the direction of tremors or earthquakes but cannot determine the intensity or the pattern of the vibration. If the epicentral distance from at least three stations is known, the origin of the earthquake can be calculated by simple trigonometric methods.

Earthquake Glossary

View More. Probing and Predicting Quakes.

what is a seismographer

The current then fluctuates a mirror similar to the one that directed the light in Milne's apparatus. Bolt, Bruce A. Van Dam, Laura. Seismographs are designed to withstand the elements.

During the twentieth century, the Nuclear Test Detection Program has made modern seismology possible. In consequence, some mechanical seismographs weighed one ton or more. The Press-Ewing seismograph , developed in the United States for recording long-period waves , was widely used throughout the world.

what is a seismographer

Even miniscule movements of the coil will generate electrical signals that are then fed into an amplifier and a filter and stored in computer memory for later printing. If you used a roll of paper and a motor that slowly pulled the paper across the table, you would be able to record tremors over time.


It is equally possible to take the ratio between the deflection of the pendulum and the velocity or acceleration of the ground. Tweets by LechMazur.

what is a seismographer

It is a logarithmic scale , meaning that the numbers on the scale measure factors of 10. For over seventeen hundred years the study of earthquakes depended on imprecise instruments such as Chang Heng's. Falling onto light-sensitive paper, the light then inscribed a record of the tremor.

Currently, a team of seismologists is studying the Parkfield segment of that fault to determine if they can predict a minor earthquake. Many moonquakes were recorded by those instruments. Such a system would require a seismograph to pick up the vibrations, a computer to interpret them as an imminent earthquake, and a communication system to warn emergency personnel in time.