Geoscience and football meet at Rice-Eccles


U geoscientists are now measuring the actual seismic impact of Big Time college football on the Salt Lake City campus and live tweeting the measurements during games, starting with Thursday’s Florida-Utah matchup.

Ahead of the Utes’ season opener, seismologist and Utah season ticket holder Jamie Farrell installed the seismometer in the Rice-Eccles Stadium to measure and record Earth shaking associated with fans’ response to on-field action during the Utes’ home games.

“We’re going to try to convert the amount of energy that gets released either over an entire game or if there’s a big event, where it shakes a lot, and try to convert that into equivalent magnitude, how much energy is put into the ground,” Farrell said. “But if not, we can compare different things, like when the team ran into the stadium, when we scored our first touchdown or this was a third-down stomp.”

Farrell is an associate research professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics, where he helps oversee the U of U Seismograph Stations, or UUSS. He is an expert in the use of seismic waves to characterize the Earth’s crust, with a particular focus on the volcanism under Yellostone Park.


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