Rapid Deployment of REF TEK 160-03 Aftershock System in Quito, Ecuador

When a magnitude 5.1 earthquake hit Ecuador’s capital city, Quito, on August 12 2014, the Geophysical Institute EPN (Instituto Geofísico de la Escuela Politécnica Nacional) that monitors seismic and volcanic activities in Ecuador was ready to deploy their recently purchased 160-03 Aftershock Systems at strategic points around the city. The Institute had just completed training on set up and configuration of their recent investment in the instrumentation.

Dust clouds in Quito, Ecuador after a magnitude 5.1 earthquake

The epicenter of the earthquake was centered 14 miles (23 km) northeast of Quito at a depth of 4.8 miles (7.7 km). The quake triggered several landslides just north of Quito and caused large dust clouds from the shifting earth. Having pinpointed the epicenter from the national network of sensors, the Geophysical Institute EPN was able to deploy the 160-03s at the airport, local schools and hospitals to record the aftershock activity in the area immediately surrounding the epicenter.

The 160-03 Aftershock System is completely self-contained (no external cables or sensors) with internal batteries and data storage capability making aftershock monitoring fast, efficient and relevant. Aftershocks are invariably too small to be picked up by the national network therefore a vast amount of valuable data is often missed. Being able to quickly display real-time data provided the Geophysical Institute EPN with practical information for local authorities to mobilize public safety measures in the affected area.

Aftershock Recorded on August 14th 2014 1604 hrs. (Courtesy of Geophysical Institute EPN)