Earthquake provides education for geophysics student - – Rockford’s News Leader

Earthquake provides education for geophysics student

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Eduard Breuer Eduard Breuer

By Marissa Alter

DEKALB (WREX) - Eduard Breuer is NIU's only Geophysics PhD student. News of a rare Northern Illinois quake quickly woke him up and had him heading to the school's seismometer.

"When I was just about to leave, Dr. Carpenter called me pretty happy," Breuer explains. "He said, 'We got it, and it's perfect. It's great.' And I was even more excited to come in. It's amazing."

That's because Breuer helped set up NIU's seismometer in 2008. On April 18 of that year, a quake rocked Southern Illinois.

"The machine was not really calibrated and ready, but it was exciting. And when I analyzed the wave form, it was great. And I always wished that once we were set up, it's going to happen. But I never dreamed it was going to happen literally in my backyard, so that was pretty exciting. I was glad it was not a magnitude 7, though."

Breuer showed us the seismometer's recordings of this morning's event. The instrument is very sensitive and able to read tiny vibrations. He never expected to use it to measure tremors in Northern Illinois.

"How did this happen? That's a really good question, and you could probably write your masters thesis on it. Definitely, there's a lot of stuff to study. I think this is kind of a wake up call that we shouldn't say, 'Oh an earthquake in Sycamore? No.' Cause it could happen anywhere."

Breuer will continue to study earthquakes. He's writing his PhD on how to use seismic events to harness green energy.

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