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January 14, 2015 at 10:57 AM

Quake watch: Researchers ready for earth to move at CenturyLink

A crew from the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network installed monitors to measure the rumble created by Seahawks fans inside CenturyLink Field during the playoff games in 2015. (Corinne Chin & Lauren Frohne / The Seattle Times)

It’s quake season at CenturyLink.

Researchers with the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network have their gear set up again to measure for any seismic activity that could happen Sunday when the Seahawks play the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship at 12:05 p.m.

BeastQuakeVsKamQuake

Comparing Marshawn Lynch’s Beast Quake of 2011 with Kam Chancellor’s Kam Quake of 2015. (Pacific Northwest Seismic Network)

During last Saturday’s victory over the Carolina Panthers, PNSN.org received about 197,000 hits, said Bill Steele, director of communications for PNSN.

“We were busy,” he said.

It was a good trial for the system because while the site gets regular traffic, there aren’t usually big spikes in volume, Steele said. “When we hit somewhere above 2,000 people on the servers, we had trouble with people connecting.”

The PNSN Web developers are getting help from the Azure team at Microsoft, Steele said.

“They came on board about 24 hours before the game and really helped get us spun up onto additional servers and what was needed to handle a bigger load,” he explained. “We hope to have a smoother interface for this game.”

Scientists are using the stadium monitors to look for technology problems they might encounter with a real earthquake.

Lynch's 2011 Beast Quake (Pacific Northwest Seismic Network)

Lynch’s 2011 Beast Quake (Pacific Northwest Seismic Network)

PNSN is “trying to develop the systems and partnerships to meet more information needs,” Steele said.

Setting up for the games also is good practice for researchers to use the the portable tools that “sit in the closet” for much of the year, Steele said.

So which was bigger? The shaking after last Saturday’s Kam Chancellor pick-six, or the Beast Quake of 2011?

“The Kam Quake was about two-thirds of the intensity of the Beast Quake,” Steele said. “Beast Quake was a little longer and had a somewhat higher amplitude.”

Want to make an NFC Championship Game quake? It’s more than just cheering.

The monitors measure the vibrations in the stadium, including the stomping, clapping and yelling, Steele said.

Follow the game’s seismic activity at the stadium at PNSN.org.

The PNSN is a joint operation of the University of Washington and the University of Oregon to monitor earthquake and volcanic activity across the Pacific Northwest.

Marshawn Lynch’s Beast Quake run in the 2011 playoffs:

Kam Chancellor’s interception for a touchdown, Jan. 10, 2015:

 

| More in Fan zone, Playoffs | Topics: Beast Quake, Kam Quake

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