Bio-inspired underground communication using seismic waves

Yi Zhong, Yunqi Gao, Julian Tao

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This study aims to explore bio-inspired underground communication technologies and check the feasibility of using seismic waves for subterranean communication. It is known that some subterranean animals can convey and receive different information via seismic signals of different frequencies, amplitudes, and other characteristics. Inspired by subterranean animals, this study experimentally and theoretically studied seismic waves' feasibility as an underground communication method. Experiments were conducted in the laboratory to analyze the performance of seismic waves as an information carrier. In the experiments, information (letters, numbers, and punctuations) was encoded and decoded using an on-off keying modulation method analogous to the Morse code. A parallel numerical simulation was conducted using FLAC3D, and its results fit qualitatively well with the experimental measurements. Numerical simulation and experiment results demonstrate that seismic waves can serve as a communicational information carrier, and the on-off keying modulation is a viable method to encode the signals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-148
Number of pages10
JournalGeotechnical Special Publication
Issue numberGSP 325
StatePublished - 2021
Event2021 International Foundations Congress and Equipment Expo: From Traditional to Emerging Geotechnics, IFCEE 2021 - Dallas, United States
Duration: May 10 2021May 14 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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