foo fighters new zealand earthquake 2011

Foo Fighters Fans Cause Earthquake During New Zealand Concert

Yes, I’ve felt the ground move underneath my feet and my heart rumble and shake in my chest at many concerts before. And when I heard the news about this seismic Foo Fighters concert I knew we had to explore this strange and amazing geological event with you.

According to a Foo Fighters press release and this blog post from GeoNet:

“…the capacity crowd of 50,000 at the Foos’ December 13 gig at Auckland, New Zealand’s Western Springs Stadium generated actual detectable geological tremors.

New Zealand media reported that nearby monitoring stations in Herne Bay and Eden Park picked up tremors consistent with those generated by a volcanic event–except that the shaking coincided precisely with the Foo Fighters performance, even including “lulls in the signal between the songs and peaks in signal intensity during the songs.

Reading further on the GeoNet blog I discovered that it wasn’t the music that caused the seismic shifting but it was primarily the fans dancing that did it:

The cause of the shaking is most likely the weight of the 50,000 fans dancing, as 50,000 fans is equal to around 5,000 tonnes of mass moving(or moshing)on the ground for the duration of the concert. This set up a nice harmonic vibration in the ground which was recorded in our nearby borehole seismometers.

This is really a fasinating story that fits perfectly in to our ongoing celebration and exploration of the Foo Fighters fan’s concert experiences.

What’s Your Seismic Story?

If you were at the show or have witnessed a similar seismic experience during one of your favorite band’s concerts, share your story in the comments below.

We’ll also take a deeper dive into this topic and see what other concerts have produced tremorous activity. We’ll also look to connect with the folks at GeoNet on future episode of Live Fix Radio, so stay tuned for more.

Special thanks to DRlurch for the rad concert video.

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