Measuring earthquake damage with cell phone sensors and determining the height of the ancient Tibetan plateau | Science


aftermath of an earthquake

Martin Luff / Flickr

In the wake of a devastating earthquake, assessing the extent of damage to the infrastructure is time consuming – now a cheap sensor system based on cell phone accelerometers can accelerate this process. Presenter Sarah Crespi talked to contributing contributor Lizzie Wade about how these sensor systems work and how they can help communities after an earthquake.

In another study that shook Earth, scientists have lowered the height of the ancient Tibetan plateau. Most reconstructions estimate that "world coverage" reached its current height of 4,500 meters some 40 million years ago, but a new study suggests that it is only 3,000 meters high during this period. Host Meagan Cantwell talks to Svetlana Botsyun, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Tübingen, Germany, about her team's new approach to studying paleolevation and how a shorter Tibetan plateau would have impacted the region's climate.

This week's episode was edited by Podigy.

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[Image: Martin Luff/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]


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