Earthquake detection at Visalia's Valley Oak Golf Course


This high-tech underground equipment monitors the earth's movements and records vital information if an earthquake hits nearby. Soon, this equipment will be moving to the grounds of the Valley Oak Golf Course in Visalia.

Bob Link, Mayor of Visalia said, "We're not very far from the San Andreas Fault but um they approached us on it we had no problem with it."

Visalia's city council just awarded the U.S. Geological Survey a permit to start construction on the course. The U.S.G.S. says Valley Oak Golf Course was a good location for them to set up their equipment because it's centrally located in California. It's also a quiet location.

Doug Given with the U.S.G.S. said, "So it's not actually sitting on a green or the club house it's in a maintenance area set apart ideally someplace that will be relatively quiet and have little traffic."

The constant noise of trucks and other earth disturbances is what's causing the U.S.G.S. to move their seismic equipment, currently at the SoCal Edison's Rector power station outside of Farmersville. The U.S.G.S. installed the earthquake detecting system there ten years ago.

Given said, "Whenever we install any of these sites we want to be as far away from cultural noise as possible -- traffic, flowing water, trees things like that."

The technology that will be used in Visalia is very similar to the seismic stations the U.S.G.S. has installed in Japan. Only, Japan has far more of them, than California. As for whether there's any seismic activity in Visalia, golfers needn't hold their breath.

Given said, "There's activity virtually everywhere in southern California. Now, the Visalia area isn't as active as some other areas but there has been historic seismicity there."

The seismic equipment will be installed in two weeks and will be up and running shortly after.

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