Taylor Swift show at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles made ground shake like an earthquake, Caltech study says

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LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Taylor Swift fans shook it off so hard in Los Angeles last year that seismologists say they moved the earth.

Some 70,000 fans jumped and danced so passionately during “Shake It Off” at SoFi Stadium that the tremors equaled an earthquake measuring magnitude 0.85.

Actually, since that shaking went on and on for several minutes, the movement demonstrated the equivalent power of a larger quake.

“Keep in mind this energy was released over a few minutes compared to a second for an earthquake of that size. Based on the maximum strength of shaking, the strongest tremor was equivalent to a magnitude-2 earthquake,” said Gabrielle Tepp, the Caltech research team leader.

Each song had its own seismic signature – not based on the instruments or speaker volume, but on the jumping and dancing by fans. The scientists were able to match up 43 of the 45 songs played on Aug. 5, 2023 to patterns on their spectrograms.

The study was conducted at the request of the California Office of Emergency Services, following reports of a Swift concert in Seattle that caused the equivalent of a 2.3 magnitude quake in July 2023.

The Caltech team set up sensors at SoFi and paired that data with information from the state’s existing regional seismic network.

The group also compared the data from Swift’s show to a Metallica concert at SoFi a few weeks later. The heavy-metal band’s performance generated far less ground shaking, though it had a higher attendance – reportedly almost 78,000 fans thanks to some extra standing-room sections.

Again that’s not a reflection of the volume of the concert or the passion of fans. Tepp says it’s likely because head-banging by metalheads doesn’t move the ground as strongly as dancing and jumping by Swifties.

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