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Home > 7.MEMS > Using Micro-ElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) accelerometers for earthquake monitoring

Using Micro-ElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) accelerometers for earthquake monitoring

Accelerometers have been used for earthquake monitoring for many years, and are most often coupled with velocity seismometers to extend the range of recordable ground motion. A velocity sensor alone is useful for recording small and/or distant earthquakes, but they will saturate if a moderate to large earthquake occurs nearby. This is where the accelerometer takes over.

Very high accelerations from earthquakes are not often recorded. Earthquakes frequently generate accelerations of more than 1g, but the ability to record these accelerations requires the accelerograph be located very near the epicentre, which is often only possible in on-shore aftershock monitoring situations where the source location is known beforehand.

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