How To Detect Earthquakes using Your Mobile Phone?

Most of us here have had that moment when we wonder if it’s just us or the ground really is shaking. Well, not anymore as this article here is a tutorial on how to convert your Android phone, iPhone and iPad into a seismometer. For those of us here who don’t know, a seismometer is a device used to measure the seismic activity of earth or simply earthquakes. A seismometer records the shaking of the earth on a graph which looks something like this.

Detect Earthquakes On Smartphone Or Tablet


Now you don’t have to download any app or do something with your device’s settings to be able to turn your device into a seismograph. All you have to do is click on this link. Now be sure to open this link in either Google Chrome browser or Safari browser. You will then see a continuous moving line on a screen or a seismograph. As you shake or turn your device, you will see the line turning into a graph, exactly like the seismograph for an earthquake. You will also notice that as you vary the intensity of shaking your phone or tablet, the graph will also vary. Higher I intensity of shaking wok give rise to higher troughs and crests while shaking the phone with less intensity will give rise to a graph with troughs and crests near the mid line.

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Wondering how did your phone do this? Most smartphones and tablets these days come equipped with accelerometers and gyroscopes that sense any movement of your device. These sensors are made to measure the intensity of the physical device. Accelerometer measures the intensity of the magnitude of the acceleration with which the device was moved while a gyroscope measures the direction in which the device was moved or accelerated. These two sensors together help plot the seismograph.



This data is then fed into the HTML5 Device Orientation and Device Motion events of the browser, thanks to the link you clicked on. The above mentioned method works just fine on any smartphone, provided they are equipped with an accelerometer and a gyroscope. You can also use this method on your laptop by activating the accelerometer by opening Chrome Developer Settings and heading to Sensor settings. You can open the Developer Options by opening a Chrome window and pressing the “Shift + Ctrl + I” keys at the same time.

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So the next time you feel like the ground is shaking, just head to and place your phone or tablet or laptop flat on a table.

We hope the above tutorial proved helpful to you. Leave any queries or suggestions in the comments below and stay connected for more articles and tutorials.