Tuesday, March 9, 2010

GPS Units determine geological effects of Chilean earthquake

In an interesting merge of nature and technology researchers from Ohio State were able to determine the geological effects of the February 27th earthquake in Chile using GPS units.

GPS measurements before and after the earthquake revealed that the town of Conception, the epicenter, moved nearly 10 ft to the west, while the larger city of Santiago moved over a foot.

For more information, please refer to this article: Chilean Earthquake

Historically used for scientific purposes, GPS units are a hot topic in the outdoor recreation world, with the increasing number of people worldwide participating in the activity of geocaching - similar to a treasure hunt - by which participants find caches based on GPS coordinates. Sometimes these caches are man-made, sometimes they are nature-based (a beautiful waterfall for example).

Thousands of caches are found in cities worldwide; an interesting (and peripheral) effect of a natural event like an earthquake, would be the shifting of these published geocaching coordinates.

For more information about geocaching, visit: http://www.geocaching.com/

The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics recently began publishing educational materials that promote responsible enjoyment of this activity. For more information, please contact us.

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