February 7, 2023 – Optical communication fibers could provide an earlier warning of devastating earthquakes of up to 30 seconds, according to a new study by an international team of researchers led by Dr. Itzhak Lior from the Institute of Earth Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Researchers have found a new way to use optical fiber communication cables to detect earthquakes. The technology, which is already used to transmit internet and phone signals around the world, can now detect seismic activity, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Communications.
The research was conducted by a team of scientists from the University of California, Berkeley, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, who showed that the same fiber optic cables used for communication can be used to detect earthquakes, which could ultimately save lives.
In the study, the researchers used fiber optic cables to detect seismic waves that travel through the earth’s crust during an earthquake. They found that these cables, which are buried underground, are sensitive enough to detect even the smallest tremors.
The researchers believe that this new technology could help improve early warning systems for earthquakes, allowing people to prepare and take necessary precautions before a major earthquake strikes. By using existing communication cables to detect seismic activity, the cost of installing new earthquake sensors could be greatly reduced, and the coverage area could be expanded to include more remote regions.
This technology could also provide important data to researchers studying earthquakes and their effects on the earth’s crust. By using fiber optic cables to detect seismic activity, scientists can better understand the behavior of earthquakes and potentially develop more accurate predictive models.
Overall, this research demonstrates the potential for using existing infrastructure in new ways to solve important problems. The ability to use communication cables to detect earthquakes has the potential to save lives and improve our understanding of these natural disasters, which could have a major impact on the safety and well-being of communities around the world.
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