12th Man 'quake' during Lynch touchdown the real thing

12th Man 'quake' during Lynch touchdown the real thing

Credit: Pacific Northwest Seismic Network

12th Man 'quake' during Lynch touchdown the real thing

Print
Email
|

by LINDSAY CHAMBERLAIN / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on January 10, 2011 at 4:28 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 10 at 4:55 PM

SEATTLE -- Seahawks fans quite literally shook the Earth Saturday during the NFL playoff game against the New Orleans Saints.

Qwest Field erupted with excitement during the 4th quarter when Marshawn Lynch made an astonishing 67-yard touchdown run, broke half a dozen tackles, and put the Seahawks up 41-30 over the Saints.

The play made the 12th Man roar in the stands, and silenced Who Dat Nation. But was it enough to actually move the Earth?

"It's all real," said John Vidale, Director of Pacific Northwest Seismic Network. "People were shaking the stands, the stands were shaking the ground and it [was] going to the instruments."

Pace for pace with Lynch, an old geologic sensor planted where the Kingdome used to be recorded actual seismic vibrations from the ground at 4:43 p.m.

"People were losing their minds and screaming and kicking and stomping," said Vidale.

The vibrations time out in perfect correlation with the build-up, Lynch's run, and the celebration, Vidale said. Seismic activity was recorded for about 90 seconds.  

"It took him about 20 seconds to run the touchdown," said Vidale, "We recorded 30 seconds of strength, and then for about a minute afterward."

It's not something that happens every time there's a touchdown at Qwest Field, or anywhere else for that matter. According to Vidale, perhaps the only similar instance of seismic activity around a sporting event was in February, 2006, during an African Cup of Nations soccer match. Cameroon scored a goal, and a seismic instrument picked up the deafening celebration as fans went wild.

The Kingdome seismic recorder is designed to pick up ground motion, and that's just what it did, though it mainly only registers earthquakes. Vidale said if a car hit a wall near the actual device, it could cause a similar reading.

Our KING 5 Facebook friends sounded off on the event, some calling it a "Beast Quake."

"Now we know what's causing the Viaduct to crack and sink -- not earthquakes, not erosion, but the 12th Man at Qwest," one friend wrote.

With the win, the Seahawks advanced to the next round of the NFC playoffs. They face the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on Sunday at 10 a.m. PST.

Print
Email
|