The standard way to depict earthquakes and explain their characteristics, has been the use of “snapshots” of the waveforms measured by seismic stations across the earth. By studying and combining the information obtained by these static images, scientists are able to understand the properties of earthquakes, as well as discover the properties of their sources as well as their generation mechanism. However, using these visual displays alone presents the problem of properly explaining even the most fundamental characteristics of seismic waves, such as the waveforms of Primary (P) and Secondary (S) waves as well as more complex properties of seismic waves such as their frequency content, their attenuation and others. This is particularly important in the field of science education, in which students do not have prior knowledge concerning earthquakes. To address these topics, data sonification or audification builds on the people’s ability to learn through auditory stimuli and be able to analyse complex phenomena through the vehicle of sound cues such as amplitude, pitch and frequency.
In this demonstrator, students will be introduced to earthquake data and will investigate earthquakes’ fundamental characteristics by converting these data into sounds.
Students will investigate the earthquake magnitude scales by identifying them with sounds of natural phenomena of equal energy output, will analyse, investigate and sonify waveforms of earthquakes detected by school based seismometers developed in the framework of the project: Students Study Earthquakes (http://sse-project.eu) in a playful fashion, and finally compose their own music based on the sound of the Earth itself.