What Does an Earthquake Sound Like?

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What Does an Earthquake Sound Like?

Sound of Bárðarbunga.

Photo: Halldór Eldjárn.

What do earthquakes and music have in common? A lot, says musician Halldór Eldjárn. He has set up a webpage where he has converted the earthquakes from Bárðarbunga volcano to music. The Reykjavík Jazz Festival ends today and thus the experiment is very timely.

“I just had to do this,” Halldór told mbl.is. He started working on the project last night and published it early this morning. “Some guys had made a 3D graph but since music is my scene, creating music on the computer in one way or the other, I thought it would be just the thing to use the data for this purpose. I use the depth and size of each quake to make the tones. I use a certain scale to make sure it does not sound like complete nonsense. A low tone means the quake occurs way below the surface. The more frequent the quakes become the more notes there will be. In case there is an eruption this will sound like heavy metal rock!” Halldór continued. 

Listen to the results of his project at his webpage, The Sounds of the Earthquakes in Bárðarbunga.

As reported, there has been intense seismic activity in Bárðarbunga, located in Vatnajökull glacier, Southeast Iceland, since Saturday morning. The activity in Bárðarbunga is the most intense in the region on record but it is not yet known with any certainty whether or not an eruption will occur. Scientists are monitoring the situation.

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