11 January 2011

Marshawn Lynch's touchdown run triggered earthquake sensors

When he saw a homemade video shot from the upper deck of Qwest Field following Marshawn Lynch's 67-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter that clinched the Seahawks 41-36 upset, Vidale, the director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, became a bit intrigued...

Turns out, Lynch's TD shook Qwest Field and the ground around the stadium — literally.

Vidale said a seismic monitoring station located about 100 yards west of the stadium registered seismic activity during Lynch's run. The shaking was most intense during a 30-second stretch about the time Lynch broke free from the line of scrimmage, finished off his touchdown and celebrated in the end zone with his teammates.

After that, Vidale said, the shaking died down, but it took about a minute for the shaking to completely fade away.


  1. At first I'd be tempted to speculate that the tremor had some effect on the play, especially since it looked like he was swamped by defenders before he broke out.

    But then... NAH. It's football, and even a 5.5 earthquake wouldn't faze guys like that while they're in motion.

  2. As a geologist I have a problem with the wording of the headline. The jumping and stomping of the crowd during Marshawn Lynch's run did not trigger an earthquake. The crowd response merely acted as a seismic source which was recorded on a nearby seismograph. If the crowd had "triggered" an earthquake, their reaction would have had a direct, casual relationship with motion along a fault. This is not what happened.

    Wording aside, this is not a unique experience. Some geologists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison recorded the seismic activity associated with Camp Randall's patented "Jump Around".

    Here is a link to the 3 seismograms, although only 1 (BB3) recorded good data. This site was about 1 mile away from the stadium.

    Seismogram: http://www.geology.wisc.edu/~feigl/JABB2006_files/threeBB1hourBandPassed.pdf

    Link with more info:

  3. As a Saints fan I have a problem with this You Tube Video! HAHA! However, in the name of good sportsmanship, I must say (and have said repeatedly) that this is one of the best runs I've ever seen in football. There are some other great runs, but a 7-9 team needing to put the game away against the defending Superbowl Champs and getting a play like this is incredible.

    Now, being from Louisiana, I'm also a huge LSU fan and one of the most famous games in our history is the "Earthquake Game" from 1988 against Auburn: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthquake_Game

    For 22 years, I have speculated that our Earthquake Game wasn't the only one, but no one has ever checked the seismic activity after a big play. So we always brag about LSU's earthquake game. However, I'm assuming that EVERY big play causes some kind of seismic activity - 90,000 jumping in unison has to cause some kind of damage.

  4. Re the Seattle playoff game, I still laugh at the Onion headline -

    Seattle Coach Pete Carroll: Seahawks Only Need 3 Losses To Reach Super Bowl


  5. Johnny Cat, I hope you understand there was no tremor; the seismographs were sensing the activity of the fans in the stadium during and after the run.

  6. Knowing this I'm going to be seriously worried if the Chinese ramp up their chair production.

  7. Twelfth man. That is all. :-)

    Also, my poor husband is a Bills fan. Guess who used to play for the Bills, but was traded for a third round draft pick? That's right, Lynch. He's probably the fourth or fifth player the Bills have traded away in recent years who has gone on to do some exceptional stuff.


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