This figure shows the effect of the December 2004 great Sumatra earthquake on the Earth's gravity field as observed by GRACE. The signal is expressed in terms of the relative acceleration of the two GRACE satellites, in this case a few nanometers per second squared, or about 1 billionth of the acceleration we experience everyday at the Earth's surface. GRACE observations show comparable signals in the region of the earthquake.
Other natural variations are also apparent in the expected places, whereas no other significant change would be expected in the region of the earthquake
GRACE, twin satellites launched in March 2002, are making detailed measurements of Earth's gravity field which will lead to discoveries about gravity and Earth's natural systems. These discoveries could have far-reaching benefits to society and the world's population.