U.S. football celebrations register as minor earthquakes

Tue Dec 3, 2013 2:46pm EST

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett (L) runs the ball in for a touchdown after recovering the fumble by New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (not pictured) during the 1st quarter at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington in this file photo from December 2, 2013. Steven Bisig

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett (L) runs the ball in for a touchdown after recovering the fumble by New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (not pictured) during the 1st quarter at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington in this file photo from December 2, 2013. Steven Bisig

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(Reuters) - Celebrations by Seattle football fans in a Monday night game against the New Orleans Saints were so thunderous that they registered as minor earthquakes on a nearby seismometer, a state university professor said.

The most intense rumble came after Seahawks' defensive end Michael Bennett recovered a fumble by New Orleans' quarterback Drew Brees in the first quarter and ran it back for a touchdown, said John Vidale, director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network at the University of Washington.

The cheering and foot-stamping at CenturyLink Field was picked up by a seismometer used by the network, which monitors ground motion in Washington and Oregon.

It measured between magnitude 1 and 2, Vidale said, and it was too small to be traced by the U.S. Geological Survey. Bennett's touchdown was the first of four by Seattle in their 34-7 win.

"Every time the Seahawks scored a touchdown, there was a (seismic) signal," said Vidale, whose network has its headquarters at the University of Washington's Department of Earth and Space Sciences.

The rivalry between the Seahawks and the Saints has caused tremors in the past.

The seismometer also registered the January 8, 2011, celebration of Marshawn Lynch's 67-yard touchdown run, which sealed a 41-36 playoff victory over the Saints.

(Reporting by Karen Brooks in Austin, Texas; Editing by Scott Malone, Cynthia Johnston and David Storey)

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Comments (3)
Oma wrote:
Scary. Are the stadiums built to stand it?

Dec 06, 2013 12:37pm EST  --  Report as abuse
KevinMHurtSr wrote:
Reply to Oma. This stadium is brand new and built near a major fault line. It may be the best engineered stadium in the world for earthquakes. I don’t know if they anticipated this, however.

Dec 06, 2013 6:48pm EST  --  Report as abuse
KevinMHurtSr wrote:
Reply to Oma. This stadium is brand new and built near a major fault line. It may be the best engineered stadium in the world for earthquakes. I don’t know if they anticipated this, however.

Dec 06, 2013 6:48pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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