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Seismic Researchers To Measure Waves Created By Seahawks Fans

Noah Meyerhans
A view of CenturyLink FIeld during a Seattle Seahawks game.

Turnovers, sacks and touchdowns won’t be the only things tracked at Saturday’s NFL playoff game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New Orleans Saints.

Earthquake scientists plan to measure shaking of the ground triggered by frenzied fans at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

John Vidale, Network Director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, says he and his team will use three ground motion sensors to get a full seismic picture of the game.

“When we have you know 50,000, 100,000 people stomping and swaying and cheering, that's a lot of energy," he says. "It’s actually probably the energy that’s in a magnitude 3.0 or 4.0 earthquake.”

Vidale says he got the idea for this experiment after a 2011 game. Seahawk Marshawn Lynch ran for a 67-yard touchdown and the roar of the crowd registered on a seismograph near the stadium.

This experiment isn’t just for fun. It may also show how the vibrations coming from the stadium will extend into the city of Seattle, imitating an actual earthquake.