Date Posted... Nov 23rd 2023

Global Earthquake Monitoring

Did you know Truro School were able to detect seismic waves from the recent earthquake in Mount’s Bay? We are fortunate to have our own seismometer here at Truro School. Since 2018, we have actively monitored and recorded local quarry blasts, fireworks, thunderstorms, helicopters and also earthquakes worldwide. Our observations have led us to identify more than 2000 earthquakes during this period, with many occurring in distant locations.

This lunchtime, our Geology Club pupils were excited to study the data collected from the seismograph during this event and to learn about ‘P’ & ‘S’ waves and how to identify them on the graph. They then ran a practical experiment using metal slinkies to demonstrate ‘P’ & ‘S’ waves to determine which were faster. They also calculated it took 8 seconds for the first tremor to reach Truro School from its epicentre just seaward of the Lizard, in Mounts Bay.

Mr Blackie explained all about the epicentre of the earthquake and how they managed to estimate its actual location. They also looked at how seismic waves travel through the earth, explaining how in Truro, we can detect earthquakes from the other side of the world.

A huge thank you to Mr Blackie and our Sixth Form Geology prefects, who used the opportunity of the recent earthquake and our seismic data to turn this into a fascinating learning opportunity.

The data collected by our seismometer, links with other international data, which experts around the world use to enhance their understanding of seismic events globally.

Mark Vanstone, Head of Computer Science, who installed and oversees the seismometer, said “Having our own seismometer has enhanced the teaching of earthquake seismology in the school, allowing us to show pupils live earthquake data, lifting earthquake science off the pages of the textbook and bringing seismology to life.”