SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – The College of Charleston has been using temporary seismometers to learn more about the potential for earthquakes and how to prevent severe damage in the Lowcountry.
Dr. Steven Jaume, Assoc. Professor of Geology at the College of Charleston, spent the day monitoring some of his seismometers, making sure everything was working properly so he can use the data.
“Basically, things are working. We haven’t had many earthquakes in the Lowcountry relatively. I think there’s been two recorded by the USGS on their website. Since I’ve been putting out all this extra equipment, we’re getting the baby ones. I’ve got about 10 more I know of – too small, no one feels them,” said Dr. Juame.
As the equipment feels the ground shake from even small earthquakes, the 19 seismometers placed throughout the Lowcountry will be able to work together to show researchers exactly where the major fault line is near Summerville which caused the deadly and destructive 1886 earthquake.
“This is actually the biggest earthquake source on the East Coast of the United States. It impacts things like nuclear power plant design in the whole southeast, so this is important nationwide in that sense. Of course, it’s even more important for those of us who live here. We’re the ones that would catch the blunt of any large earthquake so it will really inform future land use planning, future building design, etc.”
One goal for the project is to pinpoint the exact location of the fault line which runs through the Lowcountry.