Earthquake detector installed at Emalus campus


TECHNOLOGY that detects Upper Atmospheric (Ionospheric) changes during earthquakes and tropical cyclones was installed at the University of the South Pacific’s Emalus campus in Vanuatu.

The Very Low Frequency (VLF) signal receiver was installed through strategic research funding from USP under a research project titled ‘Investigations of Sea State and Upper Atmosphere during Earthquakes (EQs) and Tropical Cyclones (TCs) in the South Pacific Region: Fiji, Vanuatu and Samoa’.

In a USP statement issued today, School of Engineering and Physics at the Laucala Campus Professor Sushil Kumar said the continuous recording of the data would reveal significant insight into the behaviour of the changes before and after any extreme event happening along the VLF propagation paths and the science behind these could be better understood with critical analysis of the data.

“The strategic allocation of the sites (Fiji, Samoa and Vanuatu) would reveal the real behaviour of the sea states and ionosphere as these islands are often circumspect to natural disasters due to climate change,” he said.

“The layer of the atmosphere called ionosphere could be detrimental to satellite communications and satellite navigation particularly under severe terrestrial and space weather hazards.”

The technology can record up to seven VLF transmitter signals such as from Australia (19.8 kHz), Japan (22.2 kHz), Hawai (21.4 kHz), India (18.2 kHz) and USA (24.8 kHz), and so forth covering a wide area around the receiving stations for scientific research.

Similar equipment were installed at campuses in Fiji and Samoa.