QuakeWatch Austria

Description and quantitative observations of the impact of earthquakes via a smartphone app and easy to use low-cost seismic sensors.

earthquakes, Austria, sensors, app

The project overview

Area of Science: Natural Sciences
Location: Austria
Used Devices: without PC/Mobile, with PC/Mobile
Equipment of citizen scientists: Smartphone
Activities of citizen scientists: observing, photographing
Suitable for: Youngsters and adults
Project duration: 01.12.2014 - 30.06.2017
Time to join in: 01.10.2016 - 30.06.2017
Expenditure of time: per sensed earthquake approx. 30 seconds for app, due to automatic data transfer no additional effort for operating the sensors

Project objective

The project wanted to accomplish an effective and precise contribution to the understanding of earthquakes – regarding effects on surface and their causes in Austria. "QuakeWatch Austria" is an extension of the Sparkling Science project "Schools & Quakes" and orientates itself on citizen science initiatives. The project utilises the given infrastructure of the existing network of "Schools & Quakes" comprising three higher technical schools (TGM, HTL Mödling and HTL Wiener Neustadt). The Sparkling Science project "Schools & Quakes" concentrates on understanding the seismic activity in the Vienna Basin and the Mürz Valley in Styria.

How did citizen scientists participate?

All three higher technical schools (TGM, HTL Mödling and HTL Wiener Neustadt) developed the necessary tools – these were low-cost sensors and an app for smartphones. The latter was used by the public to assist scientists in collecting macro-seismic data.

What happened to the contributions of citizen scientists?

Contributions by citizen scientists, which arrive at the ZAMG via the app "QuakeWatch Austria" are used to improve the knowledge about the effects of earthquakes and are utilised for research by the Austrian Seismological Service at the ZAMG. The app will be in operation from October 2016 onwards and can be used by everybody.

Participating and supporting institutions


Univ.-Doz. Dr.phil. Wolfgang Lenhardt

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