Measuring earthquake damage with cellphone sensors and determining the height of the ancient Tibetan Plateau | Science

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Measuring earthquake damage with cellphone sensors and determining the height of the ancient Tibetan Plateau | Science


Martin Luff/Flickr

In the wake of a devastating earthquake, assessing the extent of damage to infrastructure is time consuming—now, a cheap sensor system based on the accelerometers in cellphones could expedite this process. Host Sarah Crespi talks with Contributing Correspondent Lizzie Wade about how these sensor systems work and how they might assist communities after an earthquake.

In another Earth-shaking study, scientists have downgraded the height of the ancient Tibetan Plateau. Most reconstructions estimate that the “rooftop of the world” reached its current height of 4500 meters about 40 million years ago, but a new study suggests it was a mere 3000 meters high during this period. Host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Svetlana Botsyun, a postdoctoral researcher at Tübingen University in Germany, about her team’s new approach to studying paleoelevation, and how a shorter Tibetan Plateau would have impacted the surrounding area’s climate.

This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.

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[Image: Martin Luff/Flickr; Music: Jeffrey Cook]

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