Earth Music: Seismic Listening

A few posts back, I said

Japan is one of my favorite places to watch, and there is a better place than the JMA to watch the shaking, but I’ll get to that in another post.

In hindsight, I should have said not that there is a better place to watch, but rather there is a more interesting place to watch. On lives a 24/7 live feed of the NIED monitoring system.

NIED is Japan’s National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention. The feed will give you a visual and audio idea of exactly how much movement Japan experiences. A lot of the audio alerts are simply very small earthquakes, generally under 3.0. Some are false triggers, like anywhere else on the globe has. A few times a day, if your timing is right, you can get lucky and listen to the larger ones. If your timing is really good, you might catch one of the major shakers. Chills have never truly reverberated up and down your spine until you hear a 6-pointer or higher in audio frequency form. It’s also fascinating to see the sensors light up when an earthquake occurs. You can get a general idea of how far the earthquake is felt, and to what degree to a point.

Be warned, watching the NIED stream can be quite addictive. I’ve been known to watch it as straight up entertainment, background noise, and a sleep aid. After a while, it does tend to get a bit dull if nothing’s going on. It’s a perfect sleep aid in quiet periods.

I don’t speak or read Japanese, so I honestly have no idea whatsoever what the feed’s video graphic data says. If you do read Japanese, I’d be thrilled if someone could offer a translation of it. Google Translate can only translate the text in the chat areas for me, not on the video graphic.

If you’re interested in poking around NIED’s website, I believe this is the English page. If nothing else, it is full of information for recent earthquakes.

Happy watching, and happy listening!



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