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Researchers looking for local hosts for earthquake seismometers

Luke Zoet
Courtesy of Eva Golos
An outdoor seismology set-up for an experiment near Lake Michigan.

Researchers are looking for homes for seismometers that will help them learn more about the earth underneath the Kenai Peninsula.

Eva Golos is an assistant professor with the Department of Geoscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where there are very few earthquakes. She studies earthquakes from afar, and her team is looking to place about 11 seismometers on the western Kenai Peninsula, between Homer and Kenai.

“Our goal really is to have these instruments sitting there for about a year listening for earthquakes,” she said.

Golos said that information will tell them a lot about the ground beneath the Kenai Peninsula. She said there’s a lot of sediment in the area, which means there tends to be really strong shaking during earthquakes in comparison with other spots.

“This can be helpful for understanding where earthquakes happen and how they might affect communities in this area in the future,” she said. “So ultimately this is hopefully going to be helpful for hazard mitigation in the area.”

She said the information can be used in other regions, too, since Alaska’s strong earthquakes and the tsunamis that can result can impact the entire Pacific basin.

Golos is looking for indoor spaces on the western Kenai Peninsula to store the seismometers — ideally, she said, sheds or barns. She said seismometers can still get good data indoors and that she plans to test imaging techniques.

“And it’s also a great opportunity, I think, to get the community involved in science and pull back the curtain a little bit and see what these instruments are like and understand how they can contribute to knowledge about earthquakes, as well,” she said.

Kenai Peninsula homes that are interested in hosting can email Golos at She hopes to start install stations starting this week through the end of next week.

Sabine Poux is a producer and reporter for the Brave Little State podcast of Vermont Public. She was formerly news director and evening news host at KDLL in Kenai.

Originally from New York, Sabine has lived and reported in Argentina and Vermont and Kenai.
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