Most of the time, when you hear the results of new research or a quote from some scientist, it is bad news. It may be that your favorite food is making lab rats dumber or that producing that same food is destroying the planet. But Yahoo News has reported that GPS receivers are proving to be extremely beneficial tools in helping researchers better understand how the earth responds to earthquakes and the way earthquakes cycle.

2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake

EarthquakeUseThe magnitude-9 earthquake occurred on March 11, 2011 in the northeastern region of Japan. It created a massive tsunami that devastated a large area. Even now, more than two years after the earthquake and accompanying tsunami took place; debris from that tragic event continues to appear on North American beaches.

It shifted the Earth on its axis and moved Japan’s island of Honshu toward the east by eight feet. More than 250 miles of the Honshu coastline was lowered by two feet. Icebergs in Antarctica’s Sulzberger Ice Shelf were cracked by the tsunami. The Tohoku-Oki earthquake created an infrasound rumble that was picked up by the Goce satellite. Much of the coverage of the earthquake focused on damage done to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The plant suffered a cooling system failure and level 7 nuclear meltdown from the tsunami.

The GPS data

By watching the GPS tracking data, scientist could see the 16-foot eastward shift made by parts of Japan. They also observed the seafloor closest to the fault move by 101 feet in an eastward direction. The GPS receivers then showed researchers a bizarre westward movement that began immediately after the earthquake. The GPS technology provided geologist with a better understanding of how the earth responds to massive earthquakes. This early-stage information is crucial to understanding the physics of quakes and improving the early detection systems that exist in high-risk areas.

To discover the many other positive uses of GPS technology and how it can help you better manage your fleet and business, visit our website and download your free copy of “The Top Five Questions You Need To Ask Before Selecting a GPS Tracking Solution”. Regardless, of your industry, we have a GPS vehicle or equipment tracking solution for you.