How fiber optic lines help with earthquake early warning

Seismometers detect ground movements, fiber optics can do this even better. They can be used to quickly determine the location and strength of earthquakes - and very precisely.

Earthquakes can neither be prevented nor predicted. Accordingly, it is important to take precautions in order to avoid such catastrophic consequences as are currently happening in Syria and Turkey. This includes, for example, building earthquake-proof so that buildings do not collapse and bury people under them. At least as important is an early warning system that makes it possible to warn people in good time to leave their homes, shut down pipelines, shut down power plants and interrupt medical operations.

The more seismometers are available, the earlier earthquakes are detected, thus gaining valuable time. However, instead of setting up many such special devices, existing fiber optic cables could also take on this task. The countless communication lines laid in the ground are considered a promising tool in geophysics and are currently being intensively researched for this purpose.

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