Northeastern Section (45th Annual) and Southeastern Section (59th Annual) Joint Meeting (13-16 March 2010)

Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:05 PM


WOLFE, Kathleen, BUTZ, Kelsey, NOYES, Spencer and REVETTA, Frank, Geology, SUNY Potsdam, 44 Pierrepont Avenue, Potsdam, NY 13676,

The AS1 is an inexpensive seismograph capable of detecting earthquakes greater than 5.0 from around the world. The seismograph is simple to install and may be placed on the basement floor or upper levels and still detect earthquakes effectively. Because of its simplicity to install and use, it is an excellent teaching tool at all levels of education. The AS1 uses AmaSeis software by Allan Jones of SUNY Potsdam, which allows real time recording of seismic events and simplifies data analysis. The software enables the user to calculate the distance to the event, compute its magnitude and conduct a Fourier analysis of the waves.

The seismograph makes possible several interesting learning experiences. Its installation will enable student to learn how a seismograph works. The seismograms of earthquakes together with travel-time curves enable students to determine the distance to the earthquake. The AmaSeis program is used to calculate the magnitude of the event. The event may also be filtered to enhance observed frequencies and a Fourier transform used to analyze the frequency content of the seismogram.

In 2009, over 100 earthquakes were recorded by the AS1. Several of the seismograms of these earthquakes will be presented to show how phases on the event are recognized and how distance to the event is determined. Examples will be given on how magnitude is calculated and a Fourier transform determined. The effectiveness of the seismograph, and the simplicity of its use and installation should make this instrument available to all schools.