A new earthquake measuring instrument developed by Japan has become the world’s most powerful and most difficult to measure earthquake instrument.
An Insites-2 seismic measuring device that can detect magnitude 4.3 and higher earthquakes and other rare events has been installed in the earthquake-prone northern Japanese town of Ushijima, located in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The Insites device, named after the Insites cave, was designed to detect the earthquake that triggered the tsunami in March 2011, but was designed with a small footprint.
That’s because earthquakes are extremely dangerous.
“We were concerned that the device would be a threat to the people living in Ushiquima, and this was why we decided to build a very small, relatively simple instrument,” Takashi Yamada, the CEO of Japanese-based Earthquake Engineering Institute (EI), told The Wall Street Journal.
The earthquake instrument measures the amplitude and location of seismic waves, which can help researchers identify earthquakes at a deeper level.
“The device is relatively small, and it is very sensitive,” Yamada said.
“This is the only earthquake measuring device in the world that is so sensitive.
It will also help seismologists monitor the natural and human impact of earthquakes, so it is a useful tool for detecting earthquakes in the future.”
The Insite 2 is equipped with a large, high-resolution camera and microphone, which allows researchers to record up to a magnitude 4 earthquake in real time.
The sensor’s size also allows researchers a better view of earthquakes in real-time, and the device’s camera can detect earthquakes up to 10 times greater than previous generation seismometers.
Yamada hopes that the Insite2 can help earthquake researchers identify and understand earthquakes that are rare, especially in earthquake-depleted areas.
“Our hope is that it will allow us to better understand earthquake events in a way that would be more effective in preventing and mitigating the occurrence of earthquakes,” Yamadas said.
A study published in Science Advances estimates that there are more than 4,500 active earthquakes occurring worldwide every year, with more than 1,600 reported to be induced by a large earthquake.
“These earthquakes may have a large influence on local communities and even the entire country,” Yamadsay said.
The research team hopes to use the Insights of the Insitu 2 to help earthquake scientists better understand how earthquakes occur in earthquake prone regions.
“If we can better understand the mechanisms behind these earthquakes, then we can help prevent future disasters and identify earthquake hazard areas more easily,” he said.