As per a study, fibre-optic cables that make up the global undersea telecom network may help in the assessment of offshore earthquakes, and hidden geologic structures in the depths of the ocean.

The study describes an experiment which turned a 20 kilometre section of undersea fibre-optic cable into the equivalent of 10,000 seismic stations monitoring quakes along the ocean floor.

The researchers, including those from the University of California (UC) Berkeley in the US, recorded a 3.5 magnitude earthquake, and seismic scattering from underwater fault zones during their four-day experiment.

Distributed Acoustic Sensing was earlier tested with fibre-optic cables on land, but can now be used to obtain data under the sea.

The scientists hope to use the dense fibre-optic networks around the world, spanning more than 10 million kilometers, on both land and under the sea for measuring the sensitive seismic movements on the earth.