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The earth moves for TIM under the sea in new quake research

Vulcano island.jpg

TIM’s subsea fibre cables can detect seismic events in the earthquake-prone areas around Italy.

Two research institutes used the company’s 15km cable linking Milazzo in northern Sicily to Vulcano, an island off its north coast, to investigate earthquake detection.

A sensor at the Vulcano end sent out pulses of light and recorded the backscattered signal, reflected by dynamic strain variations. Vulcano, one of Italy’s Aeolian islands, gave its name to volcanoes (pictured: stefan_fotos, CC BY-SA 2.0).

“By analysing this, it is possible to derive the movement of the earth remotely via the internet,” said TIM.

Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, INGV) and Germany’s GeoForschungsZentrum (Research Centre for Geosciences, GFZ) gathered 20TB of data in the month-long experiment. These “are now being studied by scientists to understand the processes responsible for the reawakening of volcanic activity on the island”, said TIM.

Italy is among the world’s most seismically active regions, with 48 quakes in 25 hours, according to Volcano Discovery.

TIM said: “Right from the first analyses it was apparent that the new technology used has proven to have excellent signal accuracy and sensitivity of seismic signals, making it possible to observe the dynamic strain variations created by anthropogenic and natural sources, with clear strain variations on the fibre generated by local seismic events.”

Now TIM says it is looking at ways to use subsea and terrestrial fibres to develop next-generation sensor solutions.