'Beast Quake' Repeat? Seismologists to Monitor Seahawks Game

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Seismologists will be keeping an eye on Saturday's Seahawks-Panthers playoff game in Seattle in hopes of a repeat of the famous (or infamous, depending on your team) 2011 "Beast Quake" touchdown run by the Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch, the crowd response to which was so thunderous it registered on nearby seismographs. Summaries of seismic activity from the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network will be provided regularly during the game, and super-fast "QuickShake" updates will be posted within a few seconds of events — anticipating events on TV, which are delayed by 10 seconds.

"It is fun," wrote PNSN's Bill Steele, "and a tough test for our new Web products as well as our capacity to ramp up our ability to rapidly serve information to thousands of people following earthquakes."

Because this isn't just for the entertainment of Seattle sports fans. Measuring, analyzing, and broadcasting seismic events in as close to real time as possible is an important goal for the PNSN — should a serious earthquake occur, getting a warning out in 10 seconds instead of 15 could save lives.



-Devin Coldewey