The sound of the 9.0 earthquake which hit the north-east cost of Japan on March 11 can now be heard on the Internet. The sound was picked up by underwater observatories which are based close to the epicentre of the quake.
It was 2.45 pm, Japanese local time, that the Listening to the Deep Ocean Environment (LIDO) system detected the sound at observatories belonging to the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC). The observatories are based off the coast in Kushiro and Hatsushima
The recording has been made available on the LIDO website. LIDO is part of the Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics (LAB) at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Barcelona. The director is Professor Michel André.
In a press release on the UPC website, Professor André explained more about the LIDO system:
““LIDO aims, for the first time ever, to record deep-sea sounds in real time and determine how artificial sounds impact the conservation states of the marine environment.”
The LIDO system comes equipped with hydrophones so that underwater sounds can be heard in real-time over the Internet. The system has also been picking up the sounds of the aftershocks.
In an email, Dr. Michel André told me that "you can hear live all the aftershocks still happening there".
The images on the site use colours to illustrate the intensity of the sound. The red and yellow colours which are displayed during the recording are the most intense.
Members of the Fairfax County, Va., Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue search structures and debris in northeast Japan
The recording can be found here. Two recordings of the aftershocks are also available on the site. The sound has been amplified 16 times so that they can be heard.