Tuesday, 2nd September 2014

School pupils monitor Haiti disaster

sd3388142sp23seismometer.jpgHaiti’s devastating earthquake has shaken Newport soil after tremors travelled the Atlantic and registered on a new town instrument recording ground motion.

The extraordinary discovery was made by students at Adams’ Grammar who recorded ground movement from the earthquake in one of their first ever readings.

It was an astonishing twist of fate as the new piece of equipment was delivered less than one month ago.

International aid continues to pile into the western world’s most deprived country - with the death toll close to 70,000.

And as emergency workers battle on, there is now more than just a geography lesson being learnt at the town school.

Head of Geology at Adams’, Dr Phil Dolding said: “Over the Christmas holidays some earth movement was recorded.

“Furthermore, the seismometer appears to have detected the Haiti earthquake.

“The equipment promises to be a significant asset to the department and we are delighted to have it.”

The school received the powerful piece of kit from the UK School Seismology Project which is managed by the British Geological Survey and funded by the UK Oil Exploration industry.

Students have also been given training and support with an online data sharing services.

The service allows the educational seismometers to be linked to a central schools database so that the data from any machine is available to any other registered member.

The database has some international links, mainly with schools in the USA, which allows the seismic events to be plotted worldwide.

Adams’ Grammar has also had a stand alone personal computer given to them by Keele University to provide a complete installation.

The machine has been assembled temporarily in the Physics prep room before formal trials to determine the best permanent site begin.