According to the China Earthquake Networks Center, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck Menyuan County, Haibei Prefecture, Qinghai Province on 8 January 2022, causing dramatic damage to Earth’s surface and many fundamental infrastructures in the epicenter area.
Instantly after the earthquake, the Research Division of the Physics of Earthquakes and Earth’s Interior of the State Key Laboratory of Geodesy and Earth’s Dynamics of APM summoned the scientific researchers to carry out aftershock monitoring work. On 9 January, Dr. BAO Feng and PhD student LIN Rongbing from ZENG Xiangfang's research group were the first to arrive at the site with instruments. They took no rest and swiftly jumped into monitoring work that night alongside local units. They worked direct with the earthquake, braving high altitude and cold weather despite the threat of aftershocks and secondary hazards to their personal safety.
After many days working around the clock, the team set up several distributed fiber-optic seismic demodulators and more than 20 short-period seismometers, monitored a large number of aftershocks and obtained a large amount of first-hand data. The distributed fiber-optic seismic demodulators used tens of kilometers of communication cables in the epicenter to build a dense array of tens of thousands of sensing points, obtaining high-resolution records of the seismic wave fields and initially revealing tectonic features such as faults. All these data laid a solid foundation for aftershock prevention and mitigation as well as subsequent disaster assessment, supplementing observation information for better scientific response to seismic disasters.
APM Researchers collaborate with local units to carry out work (Image by APM)