TXESP at Energy Day Houston 2017

Ms. Cassandra North (Financial Expert) and Ms. Kristi Fink (Geophysicist) worked Texas Educational Seismic Project’s booth at Houston’s Energy Day 2017.

We brought our modified Shake Table to demonstrate how (1) a seismic wave’s amplitude and period interact with a building’s resonant frequency, and (2) how local geology affects the risk of a damaging or collapsing a building.#EnergyDay2017.

We related our learning to the real- time crisis occurring in Mexico City, Mexico…. What can we learn from our observations? how do we begin to plan safer buildings in earthquake-prone regions?


TEACHABLE MOMENT: Detecting Weather Patterns?

A TEACHABLE MOMENT:  DYK that seismologists – and you! – may observe changes in weather?  At Station E1TX in Spring, TX, the weather pattern changed twice in the last 48 hours as a cold front pushed through the Houston area.  Saturday’s weather was a sticky, 90+ degF and humid, but a cold front pushed through with major thunderstorms on Sunday morning.  Monday morning’s weather has been much lower temperatures (in the 40s degF) and dry, breezy weather.  Both weather pattern changes were observed in the 2 images on the EQ-1 seismograph.

NOTE the change in (1) amplitude and (2) more significantly, the frequency of the seismic background noise between both changes in weather.

Saturday to Sunday (hot and humid TO thunderstorms and decreasing air pressure)


Thunderstorms rolling in across South Texas.


A sustained breezy Monday morning.

Hogg Middle School’s STEAM Festival

We had a fantastic time participating with other STEM Professionals – including a snake expert! – at the Heights middle school.  TXESP brought two activities for participants to engage in learning about seismology, geology, physics and engineering!!  TXESP pictures are include below, a “Piper” is shown for scale – a Shake Table and a Seismograph used for detecting and recording ground movements.

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24-Hour Comparison of Magnitude 6.0+ Earthquakes

Over a 24-hour time period, from 10-10-2017 04:00hrs UTC  to  11-10-2017 03:00hrs UTC, we compared the independent recordings of seismicity in Spring, TX and Weston, MA.  Texas Educational Seismic Project operates Station E1TX and Boston College’s Educational Seismology Project operates Station WOBC.  Notice (1) how the Chilean earthquake has a much larger amplitude recorded in Texas than in Massachusetts? and (2) the very large M6.7 Bouvet Island earthquake was NOT recorded in Massachusetts, but the surface waves are clearly visible in Texas?