Underwater optic fiber cables could help detect seismic events

Earthquakes can erupt from the ocean floors and cause havoc on the mainland. Such havoc can be minimized by warnings if oceanic seismic activity is detected early enough. Current earthquake detection depends mainly on detectors on land, leaving many underwater earthquakes undetected. Last month, a new study published in the journal Science suggests that seafloor optic fibers, which transmit the world's internet traffic, can be also used to detect seismic waves from underneath the ocean. According to the authors of this preliminary study, earthquakes cause disruptions along the optic cables, which can be detected by lasers added at both ends of the optic cables. According to Charlotte Rowe, a seismologist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, USA, signals emitted by submarine cables can also be used to get sharper insights into the earth's interior composition. Scientists believe this is an intriguing study that should be followed up to improve the detection of underwater earthquakes. 

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