Nature spotlights UW geophysicists’ fight to save lives with seafloor sensors

Inventor Jerry Paros

Ian C. Bates for Nature
Inventor Jerry Paros

Inventor and entrepreneur Jerry Paros and University of Washington scientists are monitoring undersea faults for movements and signs of the next catastrophic earthquake. A recent Nature article looks at Paros, who has donated $2 million to the UW, and the collaborative project he’s working on with researchers including the School of Oceanography’s Emily Roland and William Wilcock. Over the course of his career, Paros developed an ultra-precise quartz sensor for oil, gas and other industry applications. These sensors, which are capable of helping scientists detect movements on the seafloor to within one centimeter, are now being tested off the coast of the Pacific Northwest. Paros hopes that his super-accurate gauges will be the heart of an early warning system designed to detect when an earthquake shifts the seafloor, triggering a tsunami.

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