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The Daily - University of Washington
By Chris Kaperak
January 21, 2015


CenturyLink Field erupted with ear-splitting cheers, jumping, and wild celebrations Sunday after the Seahawks defeated the Green Bay Packers, earning them a spot in Superbowl XLIX. Fans left the game with their ears ringing, a souvenir of the crowd’s roar. Meanwhile, UW researchers watched as their monitors showed evidence of yet another quake generated by the 12th Man.

Marshawn Lynch’s run in 2011, Kam Chancellor’s interception return against Carolina, and an improbable victory over the Packers, all resulted in small earthquakes, detected by standard earthquake sensors. 

Before the Seahawks’ game against the Panthers on Jan. 10, sensors were placed in three locations in CenturyLink Field. The sensors fed data to an online application called “QuickShake,” which displays seismic activity in real time to the public as measured by sensors operated by the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN).

The team of researchers from the Department of Earth and Space Sciences, led by Emeritus Research Professor Steve Malone and Professor John Vidale, became interested in monitoring CenturyLink for seismic activity after the aforementioned Lynch run.

“You can’t predict earthquakes, but you can predict when Seahawks fans will jump up and down,” Malone said.  . . . . . . . . READ More >>

Stadium noise dangerous to fans 

As previously mentioned, Seahawk fans are notorious for the incredible sound waves they can generate. While a cause of pride for many, the intense sound produced during a Seahawks’ home game concerns Kelly Tremblay, a professor of speech and hearing sciences at the UW.

A normal range for stadium noise is about 95-110 decibels, or similar to being near a gas mower up to being at a rock concert, neither of which are safe to be exposed to for the length of a football game. Recently, the Seahawks’ fans reclaimed the stadium noise record at a eardrum-pounding 137.6 decibels, louder than standing near a military jet taking-off.

This is loud enough to immediately cause permanent ear damage and hearing loss, along with tinnitus, or that ringing sound heard after a loud noise.  . . . . . . . . READ More >>