New monitors set up around Pawnee to learn more about 5.6 magnitude quake

PAWNEE, Okla.-- Several agencies are already working to learn more about Saturday’s earthquake in Pawnee, Oklahoma.

USGS is setting up eight portable seismic monitors near the epicenter.

OSU, the Oklahoma Geological Survey, and Columbia University are also installing some.

Shortly after the 5.6 magnitude quake rattled Oklahoma and surrounding states USGS field engineer Steven Ploetz got a phone call.

“You normally don`t have 5.6s in Oklahoma,” Ploetz said.

Big enough to cancel Labor Day weekend plans, Ploetz and his team loaded up the seismic monitors and headed to Pawnee.

“We want to get out here. We want to collect data and we want to analyze this earthquake and see what happened,” Ploetz said.

We caught Ploetz out on the job Tuesday and he showed News Channel 4 how they work.

“This is a rep tech data logger. It brings the information in from our two seis monitors. We have a strong motion and a weak motion instrument,” Ploetz explained.

The seismic monitors record even the smallest underground shakes.

In real time the data is sent through a cell network straight to scientists.

“We`ll be able to tell exactly kind of where this fault goes and then we can tell the people who live in those affected areas, you know, you`re on top of a fault line, or your one mile off,” Ploetz said.

It is a simple system that gives a better understanding of a shaky issue in Oklahoma.

“You can never predict an earthquake, but for us to be here it`s showing them that yes we`re here and we`re looking at this earthquake,” Ploetz said.

Your feedback is important too.

Experts want to know if you felt the earthquake.

You can report that information online to USGS.