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Leicester City’s Success Makes The Earth Move

Mon 7th Mar 2016 | Football Stadiums & Facilities

Leicester City's remarkable run in the Premier League this season is sending shockwaves, quite literally, through the city of Leicester.

Geology students at the University of Leicester have been monitoring large seismic signals detected by earthquake monitoring equipment installed at Hazel Community Primary School near the club’s King Power Stadium.

The students discovered that the equipment was actually measuring small earthquakes produced by the sudden energy release by the Leicester fans when their team scored a goal at home matches.

“A few days after we installed the equipment at the school and were analysing data collected, we noticed large peaks on the seismogram during football matches being held in the LCFC stadium nearby,” said Richard Hoyle, a first year student studying geological science at the University of Leicester.

“A closer look showed us there was a strong correlation between the exact time Leicester scored at home and the occurrence of the large seismic signals.

“We concluded that our equipment was actually measuring small earthquakes produced by the sudden energy release by the cheering Leicester fans celebrating at the moment a goal was scored.”

The project involving 20 students studying Geology and Geophysics at the University of Leicester started off as an outreach project with the earthquake monitoring equipment installed at Hazel Community Primary School enabling them to detect, record and calculate the magnitudes of seismic signals coming from earthquakes around the world.

The equipment works in unison with a similar system in the basement of the University’s Department of Geology Bennett Building and another recently installed set in the New Walk Museum.

By measuring small earthquakes using this equipment, the students are then able to calibrate the calculation for the Leicester-goal-quakes.

“Our biggest signal detected so far came last Saturday (27 February v Norwich) when Leicester scored the only goal in the match in the 89th minute and this registered a magnitude 0.3 - clearly the fans were very tense,” added. Richard.

“This project gives us a fantastic opportunity to conduct a novel investigation for the remainder of the football season while also further engaging the school children while their home team is doing so well in the football tables.

“Besides naturally occurring earthquakes, we are now curious to discover which Leicester City footballer will generate the biggest seismic signal. Our money is on Vardy.”

The students will continue to monitor the Foxes’ home games for the rest of the season, providing updates via the project’s dedicated Twitter account, @VardyQuake

Image: Action Images via Reuters / Alan Walter Livepic

Posted by: Aaron Gourley 

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