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AROUND SLOVAKIA

1902 quake-meter still working

ONE of the oldest seismographs in the world can be found in the Geo-Physical Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV) in Hurbanovo. It was installed in 1902 and is probably the only equipment still in use which records seismic activity by a pointer scratching on smoked paper, SITA wrote.

ONE of the oldest seismographs in the world can be found in the Geo-Physical Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV) in Hurbanovo. It was installed in 1902 and is probably the only equipment still in use which records seismic activity by a pointer scratching on smoked paper, SITA wrote.

“To date, these are more durable records than on magnetic media or photo-paper,” a member of the board of the SAV, Igor Túnyi, said.

The institute in Hurbanovo is one of 14 stations owned by the Slovak National Network of Seismic Stations. They record and study seismic movements, from which they then deduce the source of an earthquake.

“From the tectonic point of view, Slovakia is a buffer zone between the African and Euro-Asian plate. The African continent keeps moving northwards,” Túnyi said.

Scientists believe that, for instance, Gerlachovský štít or Mount Gerlach, the highest peak in Slovakia, was in the past higher but lost its top during an earthquake. The biggest earthquake in Slovakia was recorded by chroniclers in 1763 in Komárno, when it destroyed the town and cost several lives. As Túnyi said, this was one of the reasons why the authorities hesitated for some time before approving the construction of the nearby Gabčíkovo hydro-electric scheme. An earthquake of such intensity has not recurred since then, but several weaker ones have.


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