Seismometer picks up Barcelona’s stunning Champions League victory

By David Jacobson, Temblor

See earthquakes globally

Sergi Roberto’s 95th minute goal capped off a stunning comeback by Barcelona against Paris Saint-Germain in the round-of-16 of the UEFA Champions League. Throughout the game, ground motion was picked up at a nearby seismometer. (Photo from: goal.com)

 

Yesterday, the sports world was gripped by Barcelona’s stunning 6-1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in the round-of-16 of the UEFA Champions League. Going into the game, Barcelona needed to outscore PSG by five goals to move on to the quarterfinals. Until the finals of the Champions League, games are played at each team’s home venue and total goals are combined. Three weeks ago in Paris, PSG beat Barcelona 4-0. Then, last night in epic fashion, Barcelona scored three goals in the final seven minutes, including the last one in the 5th minute of stoppage to send them through 6-5 on aggregate.

Due to the raucous environment of fans jumping up and down in excitement at Camp Nou (Barcelona’s home venue), a seismic station 500 meters from the stadium picked up ground motion throughout the game. The image below shows readings from the Instituto de Ciencias de la Tierra Jaume Almera (ICTJA) throughout the game, with markers at each goal. Based on the readings, one can see that when Barcelona scored their sixth and final goal, ground motion was double what it had been at any time prior. Additionally, it was much more prolonged, most likely due to celebrations and the impact of the result. It should be pointed out that “fanquakes” have a much different seismic signal than real earthquakes and can thus be easily distinguished.

Ground motion readings during the Barcelona vs. PSG game come courtesy of the Instituto de Ciencias de la Tierra Jaume Almera (ICTJA). These readings show distinct spikes following each Barcelona goal, especially the sixth and final one, which sent them to the quarterfinals. (Data from ICTJA).

 

Readings such as these are similar to those recorded by the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network at Seattle Seahawks football games, which we blogged about two months ago. To read that blog, click here. What all of these readings show is that regardless of the type of football being played, people at sporting events can create their own little earthquakes.

 

References

Instituto de Ciencias de la Tierra Jaume Almera (ICTJA)

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