Seismic Web Traffic

The folks at the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre have a paper in the June 17 EOS (sorry, couldn’t find it on line) about their use of web traffic spikes to quickly locate and learn about earthquakes. Swarms of web users quickly turn to the web after a quake, they write, and the location information gleaned from their IP addresses can help give seismologists a rough idea of an earthquake’s location more quickly than their seismic instruments.

Also, importantly, maps of places in the area of the quake from which they aren’t receiving hits is important, suggesting places that have lost Internet connectivity.