Podcast: Here’s what an earthquake sounds like

Underground at UC Berkeley, seismic sensors capture the deep rumbles from Bay Area earthquakes. Here’s what a 4.4-magnitude earthquake that shook the Bay Area on Jan. 4, 2018 sounded like. Geophysicist Peggy Hellweg from the UC Berkeley Seismological Lab explains what we’re hearing when an earthquake happens.

Geophysicist Peggy Hellweg and her colleagues at Berkeley’s Seismological Lab monitor the sensors. There are a bunch of them all over campus, but the sensors that captured this quake are in a seismic station in the Byerly Vault, about 140 feet underground in the Berkeley hills behind the UC Botanical Garden.

This earthquake’s epicenter was near the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley, about 8 miles below the earth’s surface. The sound it produced took about two seconds to get to the Byerly Vault.

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peggy hellweg

Peggy Hellweg and her colleagues at Berkeley’s Seismological Lab monitor seismic sensors placed across campus.