We’ve arrived at the end of another year of remarkable sounds from Earth: a year of earthquakes large and small, near and far, natural and man-made; of powerful storms at sea; and of the unrelenting flowing lushness of the planet’s crustal background ambience. As we pause to mark the coming of a New Year, I’m reminded again of how the Earth rolls on through the hours, weeks, and years, utterly unmoved by any man-made systems of marking time. The world is unbounded by anything we can conceive.
Yet sometimes the human world does make a cameo appearance in these terrestrial recordings. This year we heard many peculiar earthquakes resulting from fracking operations in Oklahoma and Kansas. Occasionally we heard the tiny crackle or pop of ledge-blasting at a construction site nearby. Happily, there were no underground nuclear explosions this year.
Twice this week I had to shut the system down for some end-of-year repairs and upgrades. You’ll hear the tell-tale “dropouts” (gaps) at 00:31 and 04:40, which are also visible in the spectrogram image as the two white vertical stripes. Shutting down the system — even for a few minutes — is always a little nerve-wracking: will this happen to be just the moment when the Earth releases a spectacular once-in-a-decade sonic performance? Happily, Murphy’s law did not prevail this time; the Earth was relatively quiet during the downtime.
Stay tuned for some exciting developments coming in 2015. I’m in the late development and testing stages of a near-real-time system for streaming the Earth’s seismic sounds live on the Internet and over our neighborhood micro-power radio FM station. Soon, we won’t have to wait an entire week to learn what the Earth is telling us.
Happy New Year to all of you hardy and indefatigable Earth-listeners!
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Here are some highlights of what we heard here this week:
- Data dropout (upgrading hardware and software)
- Mindanao, Philippine Islands (magnitude 6.1; 8,753 miles away) more info→
- Mindanao, Philippine Islands (5.0; 8,609 miles) more info→
- System maintenance
- ? possible local blasting.
- Off Coast of Northern California (4.8; 2,904 miles) more info→
- System maintenance
- Vancouver Island region (5.2; 2,848 miles) more info→
- Central East Pacific Rise (4.8; 4,082 miles) more info→
- Data dropout (upgrading software)
- Western Idaho (4.9; 2,256 miles) more info→