Waupaca County’s efforts to track areas where unexplained booms were occurring in Clintonville in March 2012 resulted in a national award.
Initially, Clintonville residents were unaware of the cause of the rumbling and booming sounds they heard nearly every night for more than a week.
University of Wisconsin geophysicists set up seismic monitors in Clintonville and recorded a 1.5 magnitude earthquake. They determined there had been a swarm of the microquakes, which were amplified by the granite bedrock under the Clintonville area.
As part of the investigation into the mysterious sounds, Ian Grasshoff, with the Waupaca County Land Information Office, tracked the hundreds of reports that Clintonville police received.
He used geographic information systems (GIS) technology and posted the results online at the “What’s Shaking Clintonville” site.
Grasshoff, who is the GIS coordinator for Waupaca County, presented a live deomonstration of his site to a packed meeting in Clintonville prior to the goephysicists confirming the cause as a series of earthquakes.
Esri, the company that produces the GIS technology used by Grasshoff, presented him with a Special Achievement Award for his innovative use of geospatial technology.