This Revolutionary Buoy Can Predict Earthquakes

Aadhya Khatri - Dec 03, 2019


This Revolutionary Buoy Can Predict Earthquakes

The buoy is now in testing in the Gulf of Mexico. It showed that it is able to predict all kind of natural disasters, not just earthquakes

Buoys are floating devices found on the ocean. They can have various purposes, from showing routes to marking safe water.

However, in the last year, experts from the University of South Florida has been testing another version of these devices, which pack with the latest technologies to test and see if they can predict natural disasters like tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcano eruption. And the initial results are encouraging.

The buoy in testing is now in the Gulf of Mexico, and it sends back data of the seabed’s three-dimensional motion. It gathers this kind of data by picking up subtle changes and movements. Although this part of the world does not usually experience earthquakes, it is a suitable testing site for the high-tech buoy.

Buoy-earthquake
The buoy in testing is now in the Gulf of Mexico, and it sends back data of the seabed’s three-dimensional motion

According to Tim Dixon, professor of the School of Geoscience at the University of South Florida, geodesy, or a branch of math that works on the shapes and some areas of the Earth, has been done on land for a long time. Still, with this buoy, the ability can be extended to the sea. Geodesy has a high level of precision in measuring displacement, position, and strain.

The orientation of the buoy is calculated by a digital compass. The sensors that pick up data of orientation and tilt can send back other data on pitch, roll, and heading. Other vital parts of the buoy are solar panels, a GPS receiver, an Iridium data transmitter, and batteries.

After spending almost a year at sea, withstanding a hurricane as well as some tropical storms, the buoy works as expected. What the scientists plan to do next is to build a version that can work in a deeper level of water. A proposal will soon be submitted to ask for support for that design.

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