About - AlabamaQuake.com

AlabamaQuake.com is a non-commercial website, established to share information about
recent earthquake events, amateur seismology, do-it-yourself seismograph details,
and seismic activity in Northern Alabama and surrounding areas.

This site began as a simple page that displayed the near-real-time response of a local Huntsville amateur-built
seismograph to regional or remote earthquake activity. Viewers of this single seismicity page, while observing
the seismograph's current display of local Huntsville, Alabama seismic activity or indications of recent
earthquake events, were also interested in looking at recordings of past events, viewing pictures of typical
amateur seismograph equipment, and talking about other aspects of this rather unique hobby.

So a more complete website was developed, including earthquake data and several seismology-related pages,
with an aim to convey additional information, the several areas of what has turned out to be
a most rewarding hobby.

Research was begun into earthquakes and amateur seismology in the 1980s with many trips to the local
library to read old issues of the Scientific American Magazine and the "Amateur Scientist" articles
printed there. It seems that back in the 1950's, 1960's, and 1970's, there were many more "do it yourself"
construction articles for different areas of home-grown scientific research, than that which we see today.
Amateur seismology, and the study of earthquake causes and observation, was no different.

Several "Amateur Scientist" articles described the design and construction of basic seismograph
instruments, based on some variation of the classic seismometer design of a pendulum fitted with a pickup to
detect the horizontal or vertical displacement of a suspended mass relative to the earth. The most popular
of these designs that most effectively lent itself to amateur construction was the "garden gate" type of
seismometer. The Lehman seismometer is of this type and its construction is described on
the Equipment page on this site.

After reviewing the several "Amateur Scientist" articles found in old issues of the Scientific American
Magazine, a decision was made to construct a horizontal-sensing seismometer instrument as described in a
September 1975 article sub-titled, "Electronic stratagems are the key to making a sensitive seismometer."
The instrument was developed by Barry Shackleford and Jim Gundersen.

The Shackleford-Gundersen (SG) seismometer has been used to observe earthquakes in an amateur fashion
for several years. More recently, this Huntsville amateur seismic station has been updated with construction and
installation of a more accurate, broadband, vertical-sensing closed-loop feedback type of instrument,
named "Inyo," developed in recent years by Dave Nelson and Brett Nordgren.

Contact AlabamaQuake.com

More information about this website, details about seismograms and detecting seismic waves,
answers to questions about recent earthquake events, how to get started in amateur seismology,
do-it-yourself seismograph designs and construction, seismic activity in Northern Alabama and
surrounding areas, and other related topics