This site


and here


advertises such a system. But from the make-up of the site and no geo-science related work that they link to (at least what I could find) I assume it is just an advertisement for the internet of things (IoT) and economic interests outweigh a scientific usefulness.

But opinion aside, does a denser (home made) sensor network than the status quo of earthquake watchers in the hot spots and ODAS buoys really shorten warning times? Hasn't this been worked on in the wake of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami?

It would be interesting to know if home made sensors and IoT really could contribute to shorten warning times from official sensor networks.


1 Answer 1


In fact it is possible, the early warning system is not something more than a series of accelerometers (seismometers). There is always an epicenter for an earthquake. closer sensors to the epicenter shorten the time for occurrence announcement and more time for far locations to get ready.

There are even some efforts to use personal cellphones accelerometer sensors as a part of broad early warning system. for example here and here . RaspberryShake home sensors can also contribute in a global effort to shorten seismic events announcements. you can follow some live data shared by this home instruments in Iris jamaseis software, freely. This should be noted that all these efforts are still in early stages. Currently some seismically active cities are equipped with early warning systems but not based on home sensors but on seismic networks.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, but I think the "MyShake" app relies on the USGS' "ShakeAlert" sensor network, to warn people via messages. There are a lot of home made sensors and connected data collection for everything in the IoT ... some sort of study showing the usefulness would be great. $\endgroup$
    – user20217
    Aug 24, 2020 at 12:31
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    $\begingroup$ @a_donda The Raspberry Shake site has a section with a few articles/posters to illustrate the device's usefulness, including some unusual examples (elephant monitoring!). The main usage remains education though, which is always great, we need more science-enlightened citizens! $\endgroup$ Aug 24, 2020 at 12:42
  • $\begingroup$ I dont know if you ever had the chance to open a seismometer box and see what is inside. The basics are really the same in all those instruments. The main difference is actually sensitivity of the censors to low frequency content of the received wave. In near field, even your cellphone sensor can detect the high frequency motion from surface and body waves. More sensitive and of course expensive sensors for example Guralp sensors that are widely used in seismic networks can detect very low frequncy motions (as low as 0.03 Hz) originated from very far earthquakes. $\endgroup$ Aug 24, 2020 at 15:06

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