It has long been known that large crowds of people can generate seismic signals if they move at the same time.
Seismic signals are produced when people dance to a beat (e.g. the Ska band Madness at the Reading Festival) or crowds at sporting fixtures responding to events on the pitch (e.g. the Seattle Seahawks and their BeastQuakes).
During the 2015–2016 football season, Leicester City were performing beyond all expectations. The city was buzzing with excitement. Midway through the season, Leicester City were at the top of the English Premier League.
During March 2016, students from Leicester University (with help from the British Geological Survey) started an outreach project at a Hazel Community Primary School. The school is conveniently located about 500 m from the Leicester City football ground, which is called the King Power Stadium.
Over the course of the rest of the season, Leicester City went on to win the Premiership. The students from Leicester University and Hazel School, eagerly followed the games and monitored the seismic vibrations produced during home-goal celebrations.
As the season progressed, and the Premiership title was within reach, the goal celebrations and football quakes got bigger and bigger. These football quakes were named @VardyQuakes after Leicester's star striker Jamie Vardy.
The VardyQuake project is set to carry on through the 2016-2017 season. Even though Leicester have not matched their Premiership-winning form, the home games are always well attended with big crowds that make lots of vibrations.
|27 September||FC Porto||1-0||NA||NA|
|18 October||FC Copenhagen||1-0||NA||NA|
|22 October||Crystal Palace||3-1||NA||NA|
|06 November||West Bromwich||1-2||.sac|
|22 November||Club Brugge||2-1||NA|
|10 December||Manchester City||4-2||.sac|
|31 December||West Ham||1-0||NA||NA|
|05 February||Manchester Utd||0-3||.sac|
|04 March||Hull City||3-1||.sac|
|01 April||Stoke City||2-0||.sac|
For the 2016–17 football season, the seismometer at Hazel Community Primary School has been replaced with a simple homemade Lego seismometer.
As you can see from the data in the above table, the Lego seismometer works very well for recording football quakes.
We have also used this instrument to record the P-waves from distant earthquakes.
Contact Paul Denton, FootballQuake project leader, for further information.