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  • richardmitnick 4:49 pm on June 14, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Deploying a Submarine Seismic Observatory in the 'Furious Fifties'", , Detailed bathymetry would be crucial for selecting instrument deployment sites on the rugged seafloor of the MRC., , Earthquake science, , , , Macquarie Island is proximal to both modern plate boundary (west) and two fracture zones (east)., Macquarie Ridge Complex (MRC), Macquarie Triple Junction, New multibeam bathymetry/backscatter; subbottom profiler; gravity; and magnetics data will advance understanding of the neotectonics of the MRC., , Results from this instrument deployment will also offer insights into physical mechanisms that generate large submarine earthquakes; crustal deformation; and tectonic strain partitioning., Rising to 410 meters above sea level Macquarie Island is the only place on Earth where a section of oceanic crust and mantle rock known as an ophiolite is exposed above the ocean basin., Scientifically the most exciting payoff of this project may be that it could help us add missing pieces to one of the biggest puzzles in plate tectonics: how subduction begins., , The Furious Fifties: "Below 40 degrees south there is no law and below 50 degrees south there is no God", The highly detailed bathymetric maps we produced revealed extraordinarily steep and hazardous terrain., The Macquarie archipelago-a string of tiny islands-islets and rocks only hints at the MRC below.,   

    From Eos: “Deploying a Submarine Seismic Observatory in the ‘Furious Fifties'” 

    From AGU
    Eos news bloc

    From Eos

    6.14.21

    Hrvoje Tkalčić
    hrvoje.tkalcic@anu.edu.au

    Caroline Eakin
    Millard F. Coffin
    Nicholas Rawlinson
    Joann Stock

    1
    The R/V Investigator lies offshore near Macquarie Island, midway between New Zealand’s South Island and Antarctica, during a 2020 expedition to deploy an array of underwater seismometers in this unusual earthquake zone. Credit: Scott McCartney.

    On 23 May 1989, a violent earthquake rumbled through the remote underwater environs near Macquarie Island, violently shaking the Australian research station on the island and causing noticeable tremors as far away as Tasmania and the South Island of New Zealand. The seismic waves it generated rippled through and around the planet, circling the surface several times before dying away.

    Seismographs everywhere in the world captured the motion of these waves, and geoscientists immediately analyzed the recorded waveforms. The magnitude 8.2 strike-slip earthquake had rocked the Macquarie Ridge Complex (MRC), a sinuous underwater mountain chain extending southwest from the southern tip of New Zealand’s South Island.

    3
    The evolution of the Macquarie Triple Junction has been well studied dating back to 33.3 Mya and has been reconstructed in at 20.1 Mya and 10.9 Mya. The green line shows the migration distance between intervals.

    The earthquake’s great magnitude—it was the largest intraoceanic event of the 20th century—and its slip mechanism baffled the global seismological community: Strike-slip events of such magnitude typically occur only within thick continental crust, not thin oceanic crust.

    Fast forward a few decades: For 2 weeks in late September and early October 2020, nine of us sat in small, individual rooms in a Hobart, Tasmania, hotel quarantining amid the COVID-19 pandemic and ruminating about our long-anticipated research voyage to the MRC. It was hard to imagine a more challenging place than the MRC—in terms of extreme topographic relief, heavy seas, high winds, and strong currents—to deploy ocean bottom seismometers (OBSs).

    2
    The deployment (top left, top right, and bottom left) and retrieval (bottom right) of ocean bottom seismometers are shown in this sequence. During deployment, the instrument is craned overboard and released into the water, where it descends to the seafloor. During retrieval, the instrument receives an acoustic command from the ship, detaches from its anchor, and slowly ascends (at roughly 1 meter per second) to the surface. The orange flag makes the seismometer easy to spot from the ship, and it is hooked and lifted onto the deck. Credit: Raffaele Bonadio, Janneke de Laat, and the SEA-SEIS team/DIAS

    But the promise of unexplored territory and the possibility of witnessing the early stages of a major tectonic process had us determined to carry out our expedition.

    Where Plates Collide

    Why is this location in the Southern Ocean, halfway between Tasmania and Antarctica, so special? The Macquarie archipelago-a string of tiny islands-islets and rocks only hints at the MRC below, which constitutes the boundary between the Australian and Pacific plates.

    4
    Bathymetry of Macquarie Ridge Complex near Macquarie Island (MI) (Bernardel and Symonds, 2001), showing modern-day transform plate boundary (white dashed line). Fracture zones that formed at Macquarie paleospreading center (white lines) become asymptotic approaching plate boundary; spreading fabric is orthogonal (red lines). Macquarie Island is proximal to both modern plate boundary (west) and two fracture zones (east). (Data are from 1994 Rig Seismic, 1996 Maurice Ewing, and 2000 LAtalante swath mapping [rougher areas]; shipboard data gaps are filled with satellitederived predicted bathymetry [smoother areas; Smith and Sandwell, 1997].

    Rising to 410 meters above sea level Macquarie Island is the only place on Earth where a section of oceanic crust and mantle rock known as an ophiolite is exposed above the ocean basin in which it originally formed. The island, listed as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage site primarily because of its unique geology, is home to colonies of seabirds, penguins, and elephant and fur seals.

    Yet beneath the island’s natural beauty lies the source of the most powerful submarine earthquakes in the world not associated with ongoing subduction, which raises questions of scientific and societal importance. Are we witnessing a new subduction zone forming at the MRC? Could future large earthquakes cause tsunamis and threaten coastal populations of nearby Australia and New Zealand as well as others around the Indian and Pacific Oceans?

    Getting Underway at Last

    As we set out from Hobart on our expedition, the science that awaited us helped overcome the doubts and thoughts of obstacles in our way. The work had to be done. Aside from the fundamental scientific questions and concerns for human safety that motivated the trip, it had taken a lot of effort to reach this place. After numerous grant applications, petitions, and copious paperwork, the Marine National Facility (MNF) had granted us ship time on Australia’s premier research vessel, R/V Investigator, and seven different organizations were backing us with financial and other support.

    COVID-19 slowed us down, delaying the voyage by 6 months, so we were eager to embark on the 94-meter-long, 10-story-tall Investigator. The nine scientists, students, and technicians from Australian National University’s (AU) Research School of Earth Sciences were about to forget their long days in quarantine and join the voyage’s chief scientist and a student from the University of Tasmania’s (AU) Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS).

    Together, the 11 of us formed the science party of this voyage, a team severely reduced in number by pandemic protocols that prohibited double berthing and kept all non-Australia-based scientists, students, and technicians, as well as two Australian artists, at home. The 30 other people on board with the science team were part of the regular seagoing MNF support team and the ship’s crew.

    The expedition was going to be anything but smooth sailing, a fact we gathered from the expression on the captain’s face and the serious demeanor of the more experienced sailors gathered on Investigator’s deck on the morning of 8 October.

    The Furious Fifties

    An old sailor’s adage states Below 40 degrees south there is no law and below 50 degrees south there is no God.

    Spending a rough first night at sea amid the “Roaring Forties,” many of us contemplated how our days would look when we reached the “Furious Fifties.” The long-feared seas at these latitudes were named centuries ago, during the Age of Sail, when the first long-distance shipping routes were established. In fact, these winds shaped those routes.

    Hot air that rises high into the troposphere at the equator sinks back toward Earth’s surface at about 30°S and 30°N latitude (forming Hadley cells) and then continues traveling poleward along the surface (Ferrel cells). The air traveling between 30° and 60° latitude gradually bends into westerly winds (flowing west to east) because of Earth’s rotation. These westerly winds are mighty in the Southern Hemisphere because, unlike in the Northern Hemisphere, no large continental masses block their passage around the globe.

    These unfettered westerlies help develop the largest oceanic current on the planet, the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), which circulates clockwise around Antarctica. The ACC transports a flow of roughly 141 million cubic meters of water per second at average velocities of about 1 meter per second, and it encompasses the entire water column from sea surface to seafloor.

    Our destination on this expedition, where the OBSs were to be painstakingly and, we hoped, precisely deployed to the seafloor over about 25,000 square kilometers, would put us right in the thick of the ACC.

    Mapping the World’s Steepest Mountain Range

    Much as high-resolution maps are required to ensure the safe deployment of landers on the Moon, Mars, and elsewhere in the solar system, detailed bathymetry would be crucial for selecting instrument deployment sites on the rugged seafloor of the MRC. Because the seafloor in this part of the world had not been mapped at high resolution, we devoted considerable time to “mowing the lawn” with multibeam sonar and subbottom profiling before deploying each of our 29 carefully prepared OBSs—some also equipped with hydrophones—to the abyss.

    Mapping was most efficient parallel to the north-northeast–south-southwest oriented MRC, so we experienced constant winds and waves from westerly vectors that struck Investigator on its beam. The ship rolled continuously, but thanks to its modern autostabilizing system, which transfers ballast water in giant tanks deep in the bilge to counteract wave action, we were mostly safe from extreme rolls.

    Nevertheless, for nearly the entire voyage, everything had to be lashed down securely. Unsecured chairs—some of them occupied—often slid across entire rooms, offices, labs, and lounges. In the mess, it was rare that we could walk a straight path between the buffet and the tables while carrying our daily bowl of soup. Solid sleep was impossible, and the occasional extreme rolls hurtled some sailors out of their bunks onto the floor.

    The seismologists among us were impatient to deploy our first OBS to the seafloor, but they quickly realized that mapping the seafloor was a crucial phase of the deployment. From lower-resolution bathymetry acquired in the 1990s, we knew that the MRC sloped steeply from Macquarie Island to depths of about 5,500 meters on its eastern flank.

    4
    Locations of ocean bottom seismometers are indicated on this new multibeam bathymetry map from voyage IN2020-V06. Dashed red lines indicate the Tasmanian Macquarie Island Nature Reserve–Marine Area (3-nautical-mile zone), and solid pink lines indicate the Commonwealth of Australia’s Macquarie Island Marine Park. Pale blue-gray coloration along the central MRC indicates areas not mapped. The inset shows the large map area outlined in red. MBES = multibeam echo sounding.

    We planned to search for rare sediment patches on the underwater slopes to ensure that the OBSs had a smooth, relatively flat surface on which to land. This approach differs from deploying seismometers on land, where one usually looks for solid bedrock to which instruments can be secured. We would rely on the new, near-real-time seafloor maps in selecting OBS deployment sites that were ideally not far from the locations we initially mapped out.

    However, the highly detailed bathymetric maps we produced revealed extraordinarily steep and hazardous terrain. The MRC is nearly 6,000 meters tall but only about 40 kilometers wide—the steepest underwater topography of that vertical scale on Earth. Indeed, if the MRC were on land, it would be the most extreme terrestrial mountain range on Earth, rising like a giant wall. For comparison, Earth’s steepest mountain above sea level is Denali in the Alaska Range, which stands 5,500 meters tall from base to peak and is 150 kilometers wide, almost 4 times wider than the MRC near Macquarie Island.

    A Carefully Configured Array

    Seismologists can work with single instruments or with configurations of multiple devices (or elements) called arrays. Each array element can be used individually, but the elements can also act together to detect and amplify weak signals. Informed by our previous deployments of instrumentation on land, we designed the MRC array to take advantage of the known benefits of certain array configurations.

    The northern part of the array is classically X shaped, which will allow us to produce depth profiles of the layered subsurface structure beneath each instrument across the ridge using state-of-the-art seismological techniques. The southern segment of the array has a spiral-arm shape, an arrangement that enables efficient amplification of weak and noisy signals, which we knew would be an issue given the high noise level of the ocean.

    Our array’s unique location and carefully designed shape will supplement the current volumetric sampling of Earth’s interior by existing seismic stations, which is patchy given that stations are concentrated mostly on land. It will also enable multidisciplinary research on several fronts.

    For example, in the field of neotectonics, the study of geologically recent events, detailed bathymetry and backscatter maps of the MRC are critical to marine geophysicists looking to untangle tectonic, structural, and geohazard puzzles of this little explored terrain. The most significant puzzle concerns the origin of two large underwater earthquakes that occurred nearby in 1989 and 2004. Why did they occur in intraplate regions, tens or hundreds of kilometers away from the ridge? Do they indicate deformation due to a young plate boundary within the greater Australia plate? The ability of future earthquakes and potential submarine mass wasting to generate tsunamis poses other questions: Would these hazards present threats to Australia, New Zealand, and other countries? Data from the MRC observatory will help address these important questions.

    The continuous recordings from our OBSs will also illuminate phenomena occurring deep below the MRC as well as in the ocean above it. The spiral-arm array will act like a giant telescope aimed at Earth’s center, adding to the currently sparse seismic coverage of the lowermost mantle and core. It will also add to our understanding of many “blue Earth” phenomena, from ambient marine noise and oceanic storms to glacial dynamics and whale migration.

    Dealing with Difficulties

    The weather was often merciless during our instrument deployments. We faced gale-strength winds and commensurate waves that forced us to heave to or shelter in the lee of Macquarie Island for roughly 40% of our time in the study area. (Heaving to is a ship’s primary heavy weather defense strategy at sea; it involves steaming slowly ahead directly into wind and waves.)

    Macquarie Island presents a natural wall to the westerly winds and accompanying heavy seas, a relief for both voyagers and wildlife. Sheltering along the eastern side of the island, some of the crew spotted multiple species of whales, seals, and penguins.

    As we proceeded, observations from our new seafloor maps necessitated that we modify our planned configuration of the spiral arms and other parts of the MRC array. We translated and rotated the array toward the east side of the ridge, where the maps revealed more favorable sites for deployment.

    However, many sites still presented relatively small target areas in the form of small terraces less than a kilometer across. Aiming for these targets was a logistical feat, considering the water depths exceeding 5,500 meters, our position amid the strongest ocean current on Earth, and unpredictable effects of eddies and jets produced as the ACC collides head-on with the MRC.

    To place the OBSs accurately, we first attempted to slowly lower instruments on a wire before releasing them 50–100 meters above the seafloor. However, technical challenges with release mechanisms soon forced us to abandon this method, and we eventually deployed most instruments by letting them free-fall from the sea surface off the side of the ship. This approach presented its own logistical challenge, as we had accurate measurements of the currents in only the upper few hundred meters of the water column.

    In the end, despite prevailing winds of 30–40 knots, gusts exceeding 60 knots, and current-driven drifts in all directions of 100–4,900 meters, we found sufficient windows of opportunity to successfully deploy 27 of 29 OBSs at depths from 520 to 5,517 meters. Although we ran out of time to complete mapping the shallow crest of the MRC north, west, and south of Macquarie Island, we departed the study area on 30 October 2020 with high hopes.

    Earlier this year, we obtained additional support to install five seismographs on Macquarie Island itself that will complement the OBS array. Having both an onshore and offshore arrangement of instruments operating simultaneously is the best way of achieving our scientific goals. The land seismographs tend to record clearer signals, whereas the OBSs provide the spatial coverage necessary to image structure on a broader scale and more accurately locate earthquakes.

    Bringing the Data Home

    The OBSs are equipped with acoustic release mechanisms and buoyancy to enable their return to the surface in November 2021, when we’re scheduled to retrieve them and their year’s worth of data and to complete our mapping of the MRC crest from New Zealand’s R/V Tangaroa. In the meantime, the incommunicado OBSs will listen to and record ground motion from local, regional, and distant earthquakes and other phenomena.

    With the data in hand starting late this year, we’ll throw every seismological and marine geophysical method we can at this place. The recordings will be used to image crustal, mantle, and core structure beneath Macquarie Island and the MRC and will enable better understanding of seismic wave propagation through these layers.

    Closer to the seafloor, new multibeam bathymetry/backscatter; subbottom profiler; gravity; and magnetics data will advance understanding of the neotectonics of the MRC. These data will offer vastly improved views of seafloor habitats, thus contributing to better environmental protection and biodiversity conservation in the Tasmanian Macquarie Island Nature Reserve–Marine Area that surrounds Macquarie Island and the Commonwealth of Australia’s Macquarie Island Marine Park east of Macquarie Island and the MRC.

    Results from this instrument deployment will also offer insights into physical mechanisms that generate large submarine earthquakes; crustal deformation; and tectonic strain partitioning at convergent and obliquely convergent plate boundaries. We will compare observed seismic waveforms with those predicted from numerical simulations to construct a more accurate image of the subsurface structure. If we discover, for example, that local smaller- or medium-sized earthquakes recorded during the experiment have significant dip-slip components (i.e., displacement is mostly vertical), it’s possible that future large earthquakes could have similar mechanisms, which increases the risk that they might generate tsunamis. This knowledge should provide more accurate assessments of earthquake and tsunami potential in the region, which we hope will benefit at-risk communities along Pacific and Indian Ocean coastlines.

    Scientifically the most exciting payoff of this project may be that it could help us add missing pieces to one of the biggest puzzles in plate tectonics: how subduction begins. Researchers have grappled with this question for decades, probing active and extinct subduction zones around the world for hints, though the picture remains murky.

    Some of the strongest evidence of early-stage, or incipient, subduction comes from the Puysegur Ridge and Trench at the northern end of the MRC, where the distribution of small earthquakes at depths less than 50 kilometers and the presence of a possible subduction-related volcano (Solander Island) suggest that the Australian plate is descending beneath the Pacific plate. Incipient subduction has also been proposed near the Hjort Ridge and Trench at the southern end of the MRC. Lower angles of oblique plate convergence and a lack of trenches characterize the MRC between Puysegur and Hjort, so it is unclear whether incipient subduction is occurring along the entire MRC.

    Testing this hypothesis is impossible because of a lack of adequate earthquake data. The current study, involving a large array of stations capable of detecting even extremely small seismic events, is crucial in helping to answer this fundamental question.

    Acknowledgments

    We thank the Australian Research Council-ARC Centre of Excellence (AU), which awarded us a Discovery Project grant (DP2001018540). We have additional support from ANSIR Research Facilities for Earth Sounding and the Natural Environment Research Council (UK)(grant NE/T000082/1) and in-kind support from Australian National University, the University of Cambridge (UK), the University of Tasmania (AU), and the California Institute of Technology (US). Geoscience Australia; the Australian Antarctic Division of the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment; and the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service provided logistical support to install five seismographs on Macquarie Island commencing in April 2021. Unprocessed seismological data from this work will be accessible through the ANSIR/AuScope data management system AusPass 2 years after the planned late 2021 completion of the experimental component. Marine acoustics, gravity, and magnetics data, both raw and processed, will be deposited and stored in publicly accessible databases, including those of CSIRO MNF, the IMAS data portal, Geoscience Australia, and the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Eos is the leading source for trustworthy news and perspectives about the Earth and space sciences and their impact. Its namesake is Eos, the Greek goddess of the dawn, who represents the light shed on understanding our planet and its environment in space by the Earth and space sciences.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:59 pm on June 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Japan Trench> Deep-sea expedition sets two depth records", Earthquake science, Giant Piston Corer System onboard the R/V "Kaimei"., IODP Expedition 386 Site M0081 breaks the record as the deepest site below sea level drilled and cored in scientific ocean drilling history., Japan Trench Paleoseismology, Studying past giant earthquakes off the coast of Japan., To study giant earthquake history and processes along subduction plate boundaries scientists have to access the sedimentary records from these ultra-deepwater environments.,   

    From University of Innsbruck [Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck ](AT): “Japan Trench> Deep-sea expedition sets two depth records” 

    From University of Innsbruck [Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck ](AT)

    01.06.2021

    50 days offshore, more than 830 meters of sediment successfully cored, two new records in scientific ocean drilling at more than 8000 metres below sea level: the offshore phase of IODP Expedition 386: Japan Trench Paleoseismology has been successfully completed. The aim of the expedition with co-leader Michael Strasser is to study past giant earthquakes off the coast of Japan.

    1
    With the new Giant Piston Corer System onboard the R/V Kaimei it is now possible to efficiently and safely sample the deeper subsurface of the ocean. (Credit: T. Kanamatsu, ECORD/IODP/JAMSTEC.

    Two records in scientific ocean drilling were broken during the expedition: the deepest site below sea level ever drilled and cored at a water depth of 8,023 meters and the deepest sub-sea level sample taken at 8,061 mbsl (meters below sea level). Giant earthquakes occur at convergent plate boundaries where oceanic plates are subducted below overriding plates.

    Due to the downward bending of the oceanic plates, these plate boundaries form oceanic trenches, the deepest places on our planet, at water depths far below 6,000 meters. All expedition participants will meet in Japan in the Autumn for the second part of the expedition to examine and analyse the cores. Co-chief Scientist Michael Strasser explains: “To study giant earthquake history and processes along subduction plate boundaries, we have to access the sedimentary records from these ultra-deepwater environments. With the new Giant Piston Corer System onboard the R/V Kaimei it has now become possible to efficiently and safely sample the deeper subsurface in these environments.” The expedition successfully recovered 832 meters of cores recovered from a total of 15 Sites and 58 holes cored along the entire Japan Trench from 36°N to 40.5 N, in water depths ranging from 7,445 to 8,023 mbsl. “IODP Expedition 386 Site M0081, where the water depth is 8,023 meters, now – after more than forty-three years – breaks the record as the deepest site below sea level drilled and cored in scientific ocean drilling history. We greatly acknowledge the tremendous efforts of the Captain of the R/V Kaimai and his crew to safely carry out such challenging ultra-deepwater coring operations and look forward to now undertaking scientific analyses on these samples from the deepest of the deep,” says Michael Strasser, head of the Sedimentary Geology working group at the Department of Geology and the Austrian Core Facility for scientific core analysis at the University of Innsbruck.

    Possible candidates for past great earthquakes

    Co-chief Scientist Ken Ikehara adds: “It was really a tough expedition. Many atmospheric low pressure systems and unexpectedly strong Kuroshio Current got in our way. However, we obtained giant piston cores from 15 sites along entire Japan Trench. Preliminary observations and onboard measurements of these cores suggest that we could recover good cores, which we believe contain event deposits with decimeter- to several meter-thickness. These event deposits are possible candidates for past great earthquakes along the Japan Trench. We expect that further analyses of these cores during the onshore sampling party and thereafter will contribute to understanding the spatio-temporal variation of great earthquakes and earthquake-related material transport along the Japan Trench, and to establishing methodology of deep-sea paleoseismology.”

    The expedition was operated by the ECORD Science Operator in close collaboration with the Institute for Marine-Earth Exploration and Engineering (MarE3) within the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC).

    Implementing this expedition has been a great challenge. Due to the ongoing pandemic and global travel restrictions, the offshore phase could not be carried out as planned with international scientists. Through the efforts of the Japanese team from MarE3, JAMSTEC, it was possible to fulfil the expedition scientific objectives with solely Japanese staffing. Through careful planning and adopting best hygienic practices, all participants were kept safe and healthy from possible COVID-19 infection.

    International team

    The successful offshore phase will now be followed by an onshore phase this autumn. 35 scientists with expertise in different geoscience disciplines from Austria, Australia, China, Finland, France, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, Sweden, UK, and the United States participate in IODP Expedition 386. The whole international science team will meet for the first time in the autumn on board the drilling vessel Chikyu, whose laboratory infrastructure will be utilized for intensive investigation and sampling of the cores onshore while the ship is in port. This will involve splitting, describing, analyzing, and sampling the cores, and combining the resulting data with that collected during the offshore phase to compile a comprehensive expedition scientific report. The curated cores and samples will then be a focus for further state-of-the-art analyses by the wider international science community for many years to come.

    See the full article here.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Innsbruck [Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck ](AT) is currently the largest education facility in the Austrian Bundesland of Tirol, the third largest in Austria behind University of Vienna [Universität Wien] (AT) and the University of Graz [Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz] (AT) and according to The Times Higher Education Supplement World Ranking 2010 Austria’s leading university. Significant contributions have been made in many branches, most of all in the physics department. Further, regarding the number of Web of Science-listed publications, it occupies the third rank worldwide in the area of mountain research. In the Handelsblatt Ranking 2015, the business administration faculty ranks among the 15 best business administration faculties in German-speaking countries.

    History

    In 1562, a Jesuit grammar school was established in Innsbruck by Peter Canisius, today called “Akademisches Gymnasium Innsbruck”. It was financed by the salt mines in Hall in Tirol, and was refounded as a university in 1669 by Leopold I with four faculties. In 1782 this was reduced to a mere lyceum (as were all other universities in the Austrian Empire, apart from Prague, Vienna and Lviv), but it was reestablished as the University of Innsbruck in 1826 by Emperor Franz I. The university is therefore named after both of its founding fathers with the official title “Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck” (Universitas Leopoldino-Franciscea).

    In 2005, copies of letters written by the emperors Frederick II and Conrad IV were found in the university’s library. They arrived in Innsbruck in the 18th century, having left the charterhouse Allerengelberg in Schnals due to its abolishment.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:57 am on May 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Weird Electromagnetic Bursts Appear Before Earthquakes – And We May Finally Know Why", , , Brief subtle anomalies in underground electrical fields lead up to an earthquake, Early Warning Labs Earthquake EWL Labs mobile app, , , Earthquake science, , , , , ,   

    From Science Alert (AU) : “Weird Electromagnetic Bursts Appear Before Earthquakes – And We May Finally Know Why” 

    ScienceAlert

    From Science Alert (AU)

    30 MAY 2021
    DAVID NIELD

    1
    Credit: jamievanbuskirk/E+/Getty Images.

    For some time, seismologists have been aware of brief subtle anomalies in underground electrical fields leading up to an earthquake, sometimes occurring as soon as a few weeks before the quake happens.

    It’s tempting to think these electromagnetic bursts could be used to predict when a quake will strike. Up until now, however, the cause of the strange bursts hasn’t been clear.

    New research suggests that the key lies in the gases that get trapped in what’s known as a fault valve and can build up ahead of an earthquake. These impermeable layers of rock can slip across a fault, effectively creating a gate that blocks the flow of underground water.

    When the fault valve eventually cracks and pressure decreases, carbon dioxide or methane dissolved in the trapped water is released, expanding in volume and pushing the cracks in the fault. As the gas emerges, it also gets electrified, with electrons released from the cracked surfaces attaching themselves to gas molecules and generating a current as they move upwards.

    “The results supported the validity of the present working hypothesis, that coupled interaction of fracturing rock with deep Earth gases during quasi-static rupture of rocks in the focal zone of a fault might play an important role in the generation of pre- and co-seismic electromagnetic phenomena,” write the researchers in their published paper .

    1
    From the cited science paper.

    Using a customized lab setup, the team was able to test the reactions of quartz diorite, gabbro, basalt, and fine-grained granite in scaled-down earthquake-like simulations. They showed that electrified gas currents could indeed be linked to rock fracture.

    The type of rock does make a difference, the scientists found. Rocks including granite have lattice defects that capture unpaired electrons over time through natural radiation rising from below the surface, and that leads to a larger current.

    And the type of fault seems to have an effect as well. The study backs up previous research [Scientific Reports] from the same scientists into seismo-electromagnetics, showing how carbon dioxide released from an earthquake fault could be electrified and produce magnetic fields.

    Other hypotheses [Science] about the electromagnetic bursts include the idea that the rocks themselves could become semiconductors under enough strain and with enough heat, while other experts don’t think these weird bursts are predictors at all.

    Until an earthquake is actually predicted by unusual electromagnetic activity – activity that happens a lot on our planet as a matter of course anyway – the jury is still out. But if this idea is backed up by future research, it could give us a life-saving method for getting a heads up on future quakes.

    “As a result of this laboratory experiment, it might be possible to detect the electric signal accompanying an earthquake by observing the telluric potential/current induced in a conductor, such as a steel water pipe buried underground,” conclude the researchers.

    “Such an approach is now undergoing model field tests.”

    The research has been published in Earth, Planets and Space.

    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Earthquake Alert

    1

    Earthquake Alert

    Earthquake Network project is a research project which aims at developing and maintaining a crowdsourced smartphone-based earthquake warning system at a global level. Smartphones made available by the population are used to detect the earthquake waves using the on-board accelerometers. When an earthquake is detected, an earthquake warning is issued in order to alert the population not yet reached by the damaging waves of the earthquake.

    The project started on January 1, 2013 with the release of the homonymous Android application Earthquake Network. The author of the research project and developer of the smartphone application is Francesco Finazzi of the University of Bergamo, Italy.

    Get the app in the Google Play store.

    3
    Smartphone network spatial distribution (green and red dots) on December 4, 2015

    Meet The Quake-Catcher Network

    QCN bloc

    Quake-Catcher Network

    The Quake-Catcher Network is a collaborative initiative for developing the world’s largest, low-cost strong-motion seismic network by utilizing sensors in and attached to internet-connected computers. With your help, the Quake-Catcher Network can provide better understanding of earthquakes, give early warning to schools, emergency response systems, and others. The Quake-Catcher Network also provides educational software designed to help teach about earthquakes and earthquake hazards.

    After almost eight years at Stanford University (US), and a year at California Institute of Technology (US), the QCN project is moving to the University of Southern California (US) Dept. of Earth Sciences. QCN will be sponsored by the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) and the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC).

    The Quake-Catcher Network is a distributed computing network that links volunteer hosted computers into a real-time motion sensing network. QCN is one of many scientific computing projects that runs on the world-renowned distributed computing platform Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC).

    The volunteer computers monitor vibrational sensors called MEMS accelerometers, and digitally transmit “triggers” to QCN’s servers whenever strong new motions are observed. QCN’s servers sift through these signals, and determine which ones represent earthquakes, and which ones represent cultural noise (like doors slamming, or trucks driving by).

    There are two categories of sensors used by QCN: 1) internal mobile device sensors, and 2) external USB sensors.

    Mobile Devices: MEMS sensors are often included in laptops, games, cell phones, and other electronic devices for hardware protection, navigation, and game control. When these devices are still and connected to QCN, QCN software monitors the internal accelerometer for strong new shaking. Unfortunately, these devices are rarely secured to the floor, so they may bounce around when a large earthquake occurs. While this is less than ideal for characterizing the regional ground shaking, many such sensors can still provide useful information about earthquake locations and magnitudes.

    USB Sensors: MEMS sensors can be mounted to the floor and connected to a desktop computer via a USB cable. These sensors have several advantages over mobile device sensors. 1) By mounting them to the floor, they measure more reliable shaking than mobile devices. 2) These sensors typically have lower noise and better resolution of 3D motion. 3) Desktops are often left on and do not move. 4) The USB sensor is physically removed from the game, phone, or laptop, so human interaction with the device doesn’t reduce the sensors’ performance. 5) USB sensors can be aligned to North, so we know what direction the horizontal “X” and “Y” axes correspond to.

    If you are a science teacher at a K-12 school, please apply for a free USB sensor and accompanying QCN software. QCN has been able to purchase sensors to donate to schools in need. If you are interested in donating to the program or requesting a sensor, click here.

    BOINC is a leader in the field(s) of Distributed Computing, Grid Computing and Citizen Cyberscience.BOINC is more properly the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, developed at UC Berkeley.

    Earthquake safety is a responsibility shared by billions worldwide. The Quake-Catcher Network (QCN) provides software so that individuals can join together to improve earthquake monitoring, earthquake awareness, and the science of earthquakes. The Quake-Catcher Network (QCN) links existing networked laptops and desktops in hopes to form the worlds largest strong-motion seismic network.

    Below, the QCN Quake Catcher Network map
    QCN Quake Catcher Network map

    QuakeAlertUSA

    1

    About Early Warning Labs, LLC

    Early Warning Labs, LLC (EWL) is an Earthquake Early Warning technology developer and integrator located in Santa Monica, CA. EWL is partnered with industry leading GIS provider ESRI, Inc. and is collaborating with the US Government and university partners.

    EWL is investing millions of dollars over the next 36 months to complete the final integration and delivery of Earthquake Early Warning to individual consumers, government entities, and commercial users.

    EWL’s mission is to improve, expand, and lower the costs of the existing earthquake early warning systems.

    EWL is developing a robust cloud server environment to handle low-cost mass distribution of these warnings. In addition, Early Warning Labs is researching and developing automated response standards and systems that allow public and private users to take pre-defined automated actions to protect lives and assets.

    EWL has an existing beta R&D test system installed at one of the largest studios in Southern California. The goal of this system is to stress test EWL’s hardware, software, and alert signals while improving latency and reliability.

    ShakeAlert: An Earthquake Early Warning System for the West Coast of the United States

    The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) along with a coalition of State and university partners is developing and testing an earthquake early warning (EEW) system called ShakeAlert for the west coast of the United States. Long term funding must be secured before the system can begin sending general public notifications, however, some limited pilot projects are active and more are being developed. The USGS has set the goal of beginning limited public notifications in 2018.

    Watch a video describing how ShakeAlert works in English or Spanish.

    The primary project partners include:

    United States Geological Survey
    California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES)
    California Geological Survey
    California Institute of Technology
    University of California Berkeley
    University of Washington
    University of Oregon
    Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

    The Earthquake Threat

    Earthquakes pose a national challenge because more than 143 million Americans live in areas of significant seismic risk across 39 states. Most of our Nation’s earthquake risk is concentrated on the West Coast of the United States. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has estimated the average annualized loss from earthquakes, nationwide, to be $5.3 billion, with 77 percent of that figure ($4.1 billion) coming from California, Washington, and Oregon, and 66 percent ($3.5 billion) from California alone. In the next 30 years, California has a 99.7 percent chance of a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake and the Pacific Northwest has a 10 percent chance of a magnitude 8 to 9 megathrust earthquake on the Cascadia subduction zone.

    Part of the Solution

    Today, the technology exists to detect earthquakes, so quickly, that an alert can reach some areas before strong shaking arrives. The purpose of the ShakeAlert system is to identify and characterize an earthquake a few seconds after it begins, calculate the likely intensity of ground shaking that will result, and deliver warnings to people and infrastructure in harm’s way. This can be done by detecting the first energy to radiate from an earthquake, the P-wave energy, which rarely causes damage. Using P-wave information, we first estimate the location and the magnitude of the earthquake. Then, the anticipated ground shaking across the region to be affected is estimated and a warning is provided to local populations. The method can provide warning before the S-wave arrives, bringing the strong shaking that usually causes most of the damage.

    Studies of earthquake early warning methods in California have shown that the warning time would range from a few seconds to a few tens of seconds. ShakeAlert can give enough time to slow trains and taxiing planes, to prevent cars from entering bridges and tunnels, to move away from dangerous machines or chemicals in work environments and to take cover under a desk, or to automatically shut down and isolate industrial systems. Taking such actions before shaking starts can reduce damage and casualties during an earthquake. It can also prevent cascading failures in the aftermath of an event. For example, isolating utilities before shaking starts can reduce the number of fire initiations.

    System Goal

    The USGS will issue public warnings of potentially damaging earthquakes and provide warning parameter data to government agencies and private users on a region-by-region basis, as soon as the ShakeAlert system, its products, and its parametric data meet minimum quality and reliability standards in those geographic regions. The USGS has set the goal of beginning limited public notifications in 2018. Product availability will expand geographically via ANSS regional seismic networks, such that ShakeAlert products and warnings become available for all regions with dense seismic instrumentation.

    Current Status

    The West Coast ShakeAlert system is being developed by expanding and upgrading the infrastructure of regional seismic networks that are part of the Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS); the California Integrated Seismic Network (CISN) is made up of the Southern California Seismic Network, SCSN) and the Northern California Seismic System, NCSS and the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN). This enables the USGS and ANSS to leverage their substantial investment in sensor networks, data telemetry systems, data processing centers, and software for earthquake monitoring activities residing in these network centers. The ShakeAlert system has been sending live alerts to “beta” users in California since January of 2012 and in the Pacific Northwest since February of 2015.

    In February of 2016 the USGS, along with its partners, rolled-out the next-generation ShakeAlert early warning test system in California joined by Oregon and Washington in April 2017. This West Coast-wide “production prototype” has been designed for redundant, reliable operations. The system includes geographically distributed servers, and allows for automatic fail-over if connection is lost.

    This next-generation system will not yet support public warnings but does allow selected early adopters to develop and deploy pilot implementations that take protective actions triggered by the ShakeAlert notifications in areas with sufficient sensor coverage.

    Authorities

    The USGS will develop and operate the ShakeAlert system, and issue public notifications under collaborative authorities with FEMA, as part of the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program, as enacted by the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977, 42 U.S.C. §§ 7704 SEC. 2.

    For More Information

    Robert de Groot, ShakeAlert National Coordinator for Communication, Education, and Outreach
    rdegroot@usgs.gov
    626-583-7225

    Learn more about EEW Research

    ShakeAlert Fact Sheet

    ShakeAlert Implementation Plan

    Earthquake Early Warning Introduction

    The United States Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with state agencies, university partners, and private industry, is developing an earthquake early warning system (EEW) for the West Coast of the United States called ShakeAlert. The USGS Earthquake Hazards Program aims to mitigate earthquake losses in the United States. Citizens, first responders, and engineers rely on the USGS for accurate and timely information about where earthquakes occur, the ground shaking intensity in different locations, and the likelihood is of future significant ground shaking.

    The ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning System recently entered its first phase of operations. The USGS working in partnership with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is now allowing for the testing of public alerting via apps, Wireless Emergency Alerts, and by other means throughout California.

    ShakeAlert partners in Oregon and Washington are working with the USGS to test public alerting in those states sometime in 2020.

    ShakeAlert has demonstrated the feasibility of earthquake early warning, from event detection to producing USGS issued ShakeAlerts ® and will continue to undergo testing and will improve over time. In particular, robust and reliable alert delivery pathways for automated actions are currently being developed and implemented by private industry partners for use in California, Oregon, and Washington.

    Earthquake Early Warning Background

    The objective of an earthquake early warning system is to rapidly detect the initiation of an earthquake, estimate the level of ground shaking intensity to be expected, and issue a warning before significant ground shaking starts. A network of seismic sensors detects the first energy to radiate from an earthquake, the P-wave energy, and the location and the magnitude of the earthquake is rapidly determined. Then, the anticipated ground shaking across the region to be affected is estimated. The system can provide warning before the S-wave arrives, which brings the strong shaking that usually causes most of the damage. Warnings will be distributed to local and state public emergency response officials, critical infrastructure, private businesses, and the public. EEW systems have been successfully implemented in Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, and other nations with varying degrees of sophistication and coverage.

    Earthquake early warning can provide enough time to:

    Instruct students and employees to take a protective action such as Drop, Cover, and Hold On
    Initiate mass notification procedures
    Open fire-house doors and notify local first responders
    Slow and stop trains and taxiing planes
    Install measures to prevent/limit additional cars from going on bridges, entering tunnels, and being on freeway overpasses before the shaking starts
    Move people away from dangerous machines or chemicals in work environments
    Shut down gas lines, water treatment plants, or nuclear reactors
    Automatically shut down and isolate industrial systems

    However, earthquake warning notifications must be transmitted without requiring human review and response action must be automated, as the total warning times are short depending on geographic distance and varying soil densities from the epicenter.

    GNSS-Global Navigational Satellite System

    1
    GNSS station | Pacific Northwest Geodetic Array, Central Washington University (US)

    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

     
  • richardmitnick 10:25 am on May 27, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "UArizona Geologists to 'X-ray' the Andes", , , Earthquake science, , , , One of the most extensive network of earthquake sensors-seismometers-to ever be installed in the Andes region of South America., Orogeny-mountain building, , TANGO-Trans Andean Great Orogeny, The formation of mountain ranges.,   

    From University of Arizona (US) : “UArizona Geologists to ‘X-ray’ the Andes” 

    From University of Arizona (US)

    5.26.21

    Media contact
    Daniel Stolte
    Science Writer, University Communications
    stolte@arizona.edu
    520-626-4402

    Researcher contact
    Susan Beck
    Department of Geosciences
    slbeck@arizona.edu
    520-621-8628

    A network of seismic stations poised to record images from deep underground will help scientists understand the mechanisms driving the formation of mountain ranges in unprecedented detail.

    1
    Andean Mountain range in Argentina showing the snow-capped peak of Aconcagua, the tallest mountain in the Americas, rising 22,837 feet above sea level. Credit: Peter DeCelles.

    Led by geoscientists at the University of Arizona, an international research team will use data from earthquakes, geology and geochemistry to study, in greater detail than ever before, how mountain ranges are built.

    Supported by a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation (US), the project will shed light on how the Andes in South America formed, and produce a 3D model of mountain-building based on the Andes as a natural laboratory.

    The project, which is part of the NSF Frontier Research in Earth Science program, is dubbed TANGO, which stands for Trans Andean Great Orogeny. At the heart of the project is one of the most extensive network of earthquake sensors-seismometers-to ever be installed in the Andes region of South America. Scientists will use seismic waves traveling through Earth’s interior from quakes around the globe to better understand the geologic processes underlying the formation of mountain ranges.

    TANGO will focus specifically on the Andes from northern to southern Chile and in Argentina.

    “TANGO is an excellent example of the type of international collaboration that characterizes the University of Arizona’s unique capacity to tackle the grand challenges of our time,” said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. “Building on our strengths and ongoing research in the geosciences, our faculty laid the groundwork that allowed them to successfully assemble an international team to help us gain a better understanding of a natural process where there is still a lot to learn.”

    Susan Beck, a UArizona professor of geosciences, will serve as TANGO’s lead principal investigator, with co-principal investigators Barbara Carrapa, Peter DeCelles, Mihai Ducea and Eric Kiser of the UArizona Department of Geosciences.

    A major part of the TANGO project centers around seismic imaging, which works much like medical imaging such as CT scans, which use X-ray images to make tissues visible based on their densities. Just like bone and soft tissue show up as different features, geologic features beneath the Earth’s surface show up distinctly when geologists “X-ray” them by recording shockwaves from earthquakes as they travel through the Andes.

    “Instead of sending X-rays through your head, we use seismic waves,” Beck said. “We deploy our instruments across a large area, and we wait for earthquakes to happen. We might take a year’s worth of data, from which we then assemble a tomographic image of what’s down there.”

    While many of the processes involved in mountain-building — known as orogeny — are known to take place at the surface, other processes take place very deep inside the Earth, hidden from view. Seismic imaging allows researchers to probe the Earth’s interior down to about 700 miles, Beck said.

    “Combined with geologic and geochemistry data from the rocks, we can understand how the Andes formed over the last 90 million years,” she said.

    Along the western edge of South America, a chunk of ocean floor known as the Nazca plate pushes against its neighbor — the plate that contains the South American continent — at a rate of a little over 2 inches per year. This process, known as subduction, causes Earth’s crust to fold up, pushing up mountain peaks up to 20,000 feet in elevation.

    “Subduction affects almost every aspect of our lives,” Beck said. “Think of it as a recycling program for Earth’s crust; it affects where mountains will rise up, where minerals and ores are formed, where tension is released as earthquakes and where the largest volcanic eruptions occur.”

    Piecing Together ‘A Giant Puzzle’

    Geologists still only have a vague idea of the details of mountain-building processes, Beck said, and TANGO is poised to fill some of the gaps.

    “For example, we know that as one plate goes under the other, it causes earthquakes, it drags layers of rock down with it and causes volcanoes to erupt,” she said. “But what happens with that molten rock before it gets to the surface? How deep does the Nazca plate go before it gets assimilated into the mantle?”

    The Andes serve as a giant natural laboratory to study the complex process involved in building a mountain range, Beck said.

    “When you make mountains, rocks erode, and all that eroded rock has to go somewhere,” Beck said. “In a large mountain range like the Andes, that eroded material adds up.”

    As debris from the eroding mountains accumulates in basins on the east side of the Andes, it creates a layered archive of time that “is amazing to unravel,” Beck said, but also presents geologists with head-scratchers.

    2
    The east face of Aconcagua clearly shows the layers of the lavas and volcanic deposits that make up the mountain. The large glacier on the northeast face is known as the Polish Glacier. Credit: Peter DeCelles.

    “We have a decent understanding of the big picture, but we don’t really understand the dynamics of it in detail,” Beck said. “For example, we find deposits from those basins high up in the mountains, and we don’t really know how they ended up there, so it’s like a giant puzzle.”

    Beck said she is excited about the seismic imaging component of TANGO.

    “Each seismic wave has a travel time that we can measure,” she said. “The time it takes a seismic wave to get from the epicenter of an earthquake to our station depends on the materials it travels through at different speeds, and we can unravel that. For example, a seismic wave that goes through a magma body really slows down compared to a wave that doesn’t, and we will see that difference.”

    To record thousands of earthquakes occurring in South America and around the globe, the team will install seismic stations across an area measuring about 800 miles by 400 miles. Deploying the technology in the field will involve many students from UArizona and partner institutions.

    “Some stations are easy, as they are in readily accessible locations and we just need to dig a hole and insert the sensors,” Beck said, “but others are in very remote locations, at high elevations. Some seismic stations require building a vault, mounting solar panels and batteries so the seismic station can run for years.”

    TANGO differs from similar efforts in scope and scale, Beck said.

    “In a typical scenario, people would put these stations out for a month, pull them up and call it good, but we will be going into very remote areas, and we will have to deploy our instruments over many months to years. We look at this as our one-time chance to get the data that could help us answer these fundamental questions. It’s going to be a huge field effort.”

    Since orogenic mechanisms are not unique to the Andes, TANGO will help scientists better understand tectonic processes in other areas as well. Beck said the Andes are a modern analog for what the western margin of North America looked like between 70 and 90 million years ago.

    “Similar processes have happened through geologic time in many places throughout the world,” she said.

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    As of 2019, the University of Arizona (US) enrolled 45,918 students in 19 separate colleges/schools, including the UArizona College of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix and the James E. Rogers College of Law, and is affiliated with two academic medical centers (Banner – University Medical Center Tucson and Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix). UArizona is one of three universities governed by the Arizona Board of Regents. The university is part of the Association of American Universities and is the only member from Arizona, and also part of the Universities Research Association(US). The university is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”.

    Known as the Arizona Wildcats (often shortened to “Cats”), the UArizona’s intercollegiate athletic teams are members of the Pac-12 Conference of the NCAA. UArizona athletes have won national titles in several sports, most notably men’s basketball, baseball, and softball. The official colors of the university and its athletic teams are cardinal red and navy blue.

    After the passage of the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862, the push for a university in Arizona grew. The Arizona Territory’s “Thieving Thirteenth” Legislature approved the UArizona in 1885 and selected the city of Tucson to receive the appropriation to build the university. Tucson hoped to receive the appropriation for the territory’s mental hospital, which carried a $100,000 allocation instead of the $25,000 allotted to the territory’s only university (Arizona State University(US) was also chartered in 1885, but it was created as Arizona’s normal school, and not a university). Flooding on the Salt River delayed Tucson’s legislators, and by they time they reached Prescott, back-room deals allocating the most desirable territorial institutions had been made. Tucson was largely disappointed with receiving what was viewed as an inferior prize.

    With no parties willing to provide land for the new institution, the citizens of Tucson prepared to return the money to the Territorial Legislature until two gamblers and a saloon keeper decided to donate the land to build the school. Construction of Old Main, the first building on campus, began on October 27, 1887, and classes met for the first time in 1891 with 32 students in Old Main, which is still in use today. Because there were no high schools in Arizona Territory, the university maintained separate preparatory classes for the first 23 years of operation.

    Research

    UArizona is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. UArizona is the fourth most awarded public university by National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) for research. UArizona was awarded over $325 million for its Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL) to lead NASA’s 2007–08 mission to Mars to explore the Martian Arctic, and $800 million for its OSIRIS-REx mission, the first in U.S. history to sample an asteroid.

    The LPL’s work in the Cassini spacecraft orbit around Saturn is larger than any other university globally. The UArizona laboratory designed and operated the atmospheric radiation investigations and imaging on the probe. UArizona operates the HiRISE camera, a part of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. While using the HiRISE camera in 2011, UArizona alumnus Lujendra Ojha and his team discovered proof of liquid water on the surface of Mars—a discovery confirmed by NASA in 2015. UArizona receives more NASA grants annually than the next nine top NASA/JPL-Caltech(US)-funded universities combined. As of March 2016, the UArizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory is actively involved in ten spacecraft missions: Cassini VIMS; Grail; the HiRISE camera orbiting Mars; the Juno mission orbiting Jupiter; Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO); Maven, which will explore Mars’ upper atmosphere and interactions with the sun; Solar Probe Plus, a historic mission into the Sun’s atmosphere for the first time; Rosetta’s VIRTIS; WISE; and OSIRIS-REx, the first U.S. sample-return mission to a near-earth asteroid, which launched on September 8, 2016.

    UArizona students have been selected as Truman, Rhodes, Goldwater, and Fulbright Scholars. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, UArizona is among the top 25 producers of Fulbright awards in the U.S.

    UArizona is a member of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy(US), a consortium of institutions pursuing research in astronomy. The association operates observatories and telescopes, notably Kitt Peak National Observatory(US) just outside Tucson. Led by Roger Angel, researchers in the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab at UArizona are working in concert to build the world’s most advanced telescope. Known as the Giant Magellan Telescope(CL), it will produce images 10 times sharper than those from the Earth-orbiting Hubble Telescope.

    Giant Magellan Telescope, 21 meters, to be at the NOIRLab(US) National Optical Astronomy Observatory(US) Carnegie Institution for Science’s(US) Las Campanas Observatory(CL), some 115 km (71 mi) north-northeast of La Serena, Chile, over 2,500 m (8,200 ft) high.


    The telescope is set to be completed in 2021. GMT will ultimately cost $1 billion. Researchers from at least nine institutions are working to secure the funding for the project. The telescope will include seven 18-ton mirrors capable of providing clear images of volcanoes and riverbeds on Mars and mountains on the moon at a rate 40 times faster than the world’s current large telescopes. The mirrors of the Giant Magellan Telescope will be built at UArizona and transported to a permanent mountaintop site in the Chilean Andes where the telescope will be constructed.

    Reaching Mars in March 2006, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter contained the HiRISE camera, with Principal Investigator Alfred McEwen as the lead on the project. This National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) mission to Mars carrying the UArizona-designed camera is capturing the highest-resolution images of the planet ever seen. The journey of the orbiter was 300 million miles. In August 2007, the UArizona, under the charge of Scientist Peter Smith, led the Phoenix Mars Mission, the first mission completely controlled by a university. Reaching the planet’s surface in May 2008, the mission’s purpose was to improve knowledge of the Martian Arctic. The Arizona Radio Observatory(US), a part of UArizona Department of Astronomy Steward Observatory(US), operates the Submillimeter Telescope on Mount Graham.

    The National Science Foundation(US) funded the iPlant Collaborative in 2008 with a $50 million grant. In 2013, iPlant Collaborative received a $50 million renewal grant. Rebranded in late 2015 as “CyVerse”, the collaborative cloud-based data management platform is moving beyond life sciences to provide cloud-computing access across all scientific disciplines.
    In June 2011, the university announced it would assume full ownership of the Biosphere 2 scientific research facility in Oracle, Arizona, north of Tucson, effective July 1. Biosphere 2 was constructed by private developers (funded mainly by Texas businessman and philanthropist Ed Bass) with its first closed system experiment commencing in 1991. The university had been the official management partner of the facility for research purposes since 2007.

    U Arizona mirror lab-Where else in the world can you find an astronomical observatory mirror lab under a football stadium?

    University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2, located in the Sonoran desert. An entire ecosystem under a glass dome? Visit our campus, just once, and you’ll quickly understand why the UA is a university unlike any other.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:35 am on May 26, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "'Slow Slip’ Earthquakes’ Hidden Mechanics Revealed", , , Earthquake science, , If you ignore slow slip you will miscalculate how much energy is stored and released as tectonic plates move around the planet., New Zealand’s Hikurangi subduction zone is an ideal site to study slow slip quakes because they occur at depths shallow enough to be imaged at high resolution., Subduction zones are the biggest earthquake and tsunami factories on the planet., The so-called Ring of Fire is an area surrounding the Pacific tectonic plate where many of the world’s earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.,   

    From University of Texas at Austin (US) : “‘Slow Slip’ Earthquakes’ Hidden Mechanics Revealed” 

    From University of Texas at Austin (US)

    May 24, 2021

    Anton Caputo,
    Jackson School of Geosciences
    512-232-9623
    anton.caputo@jsg.utexas.edu

    Constantino Panagopulos,
    University of Texas Institute for Geophysics
    512-574-7376
    costa@ig.utexas.edu

    1
    Earthquake damage in central Japan, 2011. To better understand how seismic events like this can strike with enough power to level buildings, scientists at The University of Texas at Austin are investigating the mechanics of another kind of slow motion tremor known to occur at the same locations. Credit: GySgt Leo Salinas/DoD VI.

    Slow slip earthquakes, a type of slow motion tremor, have been detected at many of the world’s earthquake hotspots, including those found around the Pacific Ring of Fire, but it is unclear how they are connected to the damaging quakes that occur there.

    1
    The so-called Ring of Fire is an area surrounding the Pacific tectonic plate where many of the world’s earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. Credit: U.S. Geological Survey

    Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have now revealed the earthquakes’ inner workings using seismic CT scans and supercomputers to examine a region off the coast of New Zealand known to produce them.

    The insights will help scientists pinpoint why tectonic energy at subduction zones such as New Zealand’s Hikurangi subduction zone, a seismically active region where the Pacific tectonic plate dives — or subducts — beneath the country’s North Island, is sometimes released gently as slow slip, and other times as devastating, high-magnitude earthquakes.

    The research was recently published in the journal Nature Geoscience as part of a special edition focused on subduction zones.

    “Subduction zones are the biggest earthquake and tsunami factories on the planet,” said co-author Laura Wallace, a research scientist at UT Austin’s Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) and GNS Science in New Zealand. “With more research like this, we can really begin to understand the origin of different types of [earthquake] behavior at subduction zones.”

    The research used novel image processing techniques and computer modelling to test several proposed mechanisms about how slow slip earthquakes unfold, revealing the ones that worked best.

    The study’s lead author, Adrien Arnulf, a UTIG research scientist, said that this line of research is important because understanding where and when a large subduction zone earthquake could strike can happen only by first solving the mystery of slow slip.

    “If you ignore slow slip you will miscalculate how much energy is stored and released as tectonic plates move around the planet,” he said.

    Scientists know that slow slip events are an important part of the earthquake cycle because they occur in similar places and can release as much pent-up tectonic energy as a high magnitude earthquake, but without causing sudden seismic shaking. In fact, the events are so slow, unfolding over the course of weeks, that they escaped detection until only about 20 years ago.

    New Zealand’s Hikurangi subduction zone is an ideal site to study slow slip quakes because they occur at depths shallow enough to be imaged at high resolution, either by listening to the internal rumblings of the Earth, or by sending artificial seismic waves into the subsurface and recording the echo.

    Turning seismic data into a detailed image is a laborious task but by using similar techniques to those used in medical imaging, geoscientists are able to pick apart the length, shape, and strength of the seismic echo to figure out what’s going on underground.

    3
    A special kind of antenna used to image the Earth like an ultrasound scanner trails in the ocean behind the R/V Marcus Langseth. Seismic investigators at University of Texas Institute for Geophysics used supercomputers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center Seismic to analyze a seismic image of a subduction zone in precedented detail. Credit: UT Jackson School of Geosciences/UTIG.

    In the current study, Arnulf was able to extract even more information by programming algorithms on Lonestar5, a supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center, to look for patterns in the data. The results told Arnulf how weak the fault had become and where pressure was being felt within the Earth’s joints.

    He worked with UT Jackson School of Geosciences graduate student, James Biemiller, who used Arnulf’s parameters in a detailed simulation he had developed for modeling how faults move.

    The simulation showed tectonic forces building in the crust then releasing through a series of slow motion tremors, just like slow slip earthquakes detected at Hikurangi over the past two decades.

    According to the scientists, the real success of the research was not that the model worked but that it showed them where the gaps are in the physics.

    “We don’t necessarily have the nail-in-the-coffin of how exactly shallow slow slip occurs,” said Biemiller, “but we tested one of the standard nails (rate-state friction) and found it doesn’t work as well as you’d expect. That means we can probably assume there are other processes involved in modulating slow slip, like cycles of fluid pressurization and release.”

    Finding those other processes is exactly what the team hope their method will help facilitate.

    The study’s seismic data was provided by GNS Science and the New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development. The research was funded by UTIG and an MBIE Endeavour fund for GNS Science. UTIG is a unit of the Jackson School of Geosciences.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    U Texas at Austin

    U Texas Austin campus

    The University of Texas at Austin is a public research university in Austin, Texas and the flagship institution of the University of Texas System. Founded in 1883, the University of Texas was inducted into the Association of American Universities (US) in 1929, becoming only the third university in the American South to be elected. The institution has the nation’s seventh-largest single-campus enrollment, with over 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students and over 24,000 faculty and staff.

    A Public Ivy, it is a major center for academic research. The university houses seven museums and seventeen libraries, including the LBJ Presidential Library and the Blanton Museum of Art, and operates various auxiliary research facilities, such as the J. J. Pickle Research Campus and the McDonald Observatory. As of November 2020, 13 Nobel Prize winners, four Pulitzer Prize winners, two Turing Award winners, two Fields medalists, two Wolf Prize winners, and two Abel prize winners have been affiliated with the school as alumni, faculty members or researchers. The university has also been affiliated with three Primetime Emmy Award winners, and has produced a total of 143 Olympic medalists.

    Student-athletes compete as the Texas Longhorns and are members of the Big 12 Conference. Its Longhorn Network is the only sports network featuring the college sports of a single university. The Longhorns have won four NCAA Division I National Football Championships, six NCAA Division I National Baseball Championships, thirteen NCAA Division I National Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships, and has claimed more titles in men’s and women’s sports than any other school in the Big 12 since the league was founded in 1996.

    Establishment

    The first mention of a public university in Texas can be traced to the 1827 constitution for the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas. Although Title 6, Article 217 of the Constitution promised to establish public education in the arts and sciences, no action was taken by the Mexican government. After Texas obtained its independence from Mexico in 1836, the Texas Congress adopted the Constitution of the Republic, which, under Section 5 of its General Provisions, stated “It shall be the duty of Congress, as soon as circumstances will permit, to provide, by law, a general system of education.”

    On April 18, 1838, “An Act to Establish the University of Texas” was referred to a special committee of the Texas Congress, but was not reported back for further action. On January 26, 1839, the Texas Congress agreed to set aside fifty leagues of land—approximately 288,000 acres (117,000 ha)—towards the establishment of a publicly funded university. In addition, 40 acres (16 ha) in the new capital of Austin were reserved and designated “College Hill”. (The term “Forty Acres” is colloquially used to refer to the University as a whole. The original 40 acres is the area from Guadalupe to Speedway and 21st Street to 24th Street.)

    In 1845, Texas was annexed into the United States. The state’s Constitution of 1845 failed to mention higher education. On February 11, 1858, the Seventh Texas Legislature approved O.B. 102, an act to establish the University of Texas, which set aside $100,000 in United States bonds toward construction of the state’s first publicly funded university (the $100,000 was an allocation from the $10 million the state received pursuant to the Compromise of 1850 and Texas’s relinquishing claims to lands outside its present boundaries). The legislature also designated land reserved for the encouragement of railroad construction toward the university’s endowment. On January 31, 1860, the state legislature, wanting to avoid raising taxes, passed an act authorizing the money set aside for the University of Texas to be used for frontier defense in west Texas to protect settlers from Indian attacks.

    Texas’s secession from the Union and the American Civil War delayed repayment of the borrowed monies. At the end of the Civil War in 1865, The University of Texas’s endowment was just over $16,000 in warrants and nothing substantive had been done to organize the university’s operations. This effort to establish a University was again mandated by Article 7, Section 10 of the Texas Constitution of 1876 which directed the legislature to “establish, organize and provide for the maintenance, support and direction of a university of the first class, to be located by a vote of the people of this State, and styled “The University of Texas”.

    Additionally, Article 7, Section 11 of the 1876 Constitution established the Permanent University Fund, a sovereign wealth fund managed by the Board of Regents of the University of Texas and dedicated to the maintenance of the university. Because some state legislators perceived an extravagance in the construction of academic buildings of other universities, Article 7, Section 14 of the Constitution expressly prohibited the legislature from using the state’s general revenue to fund construction of university buildings. Funds for constructing university buildings had to come from the university’s endowment or from private gifts to the university, but the university’s operating expenses could come from the state’s general revenues.

    The 1876 Constitution also revoked the endowment of the railroad lands of the Act of 1858, but dedicated 1,000,000 acres (400,000 ha) of land, along with other property appropriated for the university, to the Permanent University Fund. This was greatly to the detriment of the university as the lands the Constitution of 1876 granted the university represented less than 5% of the value of the lands granted to the university under the Act of 1858 (the lands close to the railroads were quite valuable, while the lands granted the university were in far west Texas, distant from sources of transportation and water). The more valuable lands reverted to the fund to support general education in the state (the Special School Fund).

    On April 10, 1883, the legislature supplemented the Permanent University Fund with another 1,000,000 acres (400,000 ha) of land in west Texas granted to the Texas and Pacific Railroad but returned to the state as seemingly too worthless to even survey. The legislature additionally appropriated $256,272.57 to repay the funds taken from the university in 1860 to pay for frontier defense and for transfers to the state’s General Fund in 1861 and 1862. The 1883 grant of land increased the land in the Permanent University Fund to almost 2.2 million acres. Under the Act of 1858, the university was entitled to just over 1,000 acres (400 ha) of land for every mile of railroad built in the state. Had the 1876 Constitution not revoked the original 1858 grant of land, by 1883, the university lands would have totaled 3.2 million acres, so the 1883 grant was to restore lands taken from the university by the 1876 Constitution, not an act of munificence.

    On March 30, 1881, the legislature set forth the university’s structure and organization and called for an election to establish its location. By popular election on September 6, 1881, Austin (with 30,913 votes) was chosen as the site. Galveston, having come in second in the election (with 20,741 votes), was designated the location of the medical department (Houston was third with 12,586 votes). On November 17, 1882, on the original “College Hill,” an official ceremony commemorated the laying of the cornerstone of the Old Main building. University President Ashbel Smith, presiding over the ceremony, prophetically proclaimed “Texas holds embedded in its earth rocks and minerals which now lie idle because unknown, resources of incalculable industrial utility, of wealth and power. Smite the earth, smite the rocks with the rod of knowledge and fountains of unstinted wealth will gush forth.” The University of Texas officially opened its doors on September 15, 1883.

    Expansion and growth

    In 1890, George Washington Brackenridge donated $18,000 for the construction of a three-story brick mess hall known as Brackenridge Hall (affectionately known as “B.Hall”), one of the university’s most storied buildings and one that played an important place in university life until its demolition in 1952.

    The old Victorian-Gothic Main Building served as the central point of the campus’s 40-acre (16 ha) site, and was used for nearly all purposes. But by the 1930s, discussions arose about the need for new library space, and the Main Building was razed in 1934 over the objections of many students and faculty. The modern-day tower and Main Building were constructed in its place.

    In 1910, George Washington Brackenridge again displayed his philanthropy, this time donating 500 acres (200 ha) on the Colorado River to the university. A vote by the regents to move the campus to the donated land was met with outrage, and the land has only been used for auxiliary purposes such as graduate student housing. Part of the tract was sold in the late-1990s for luxury housing, and there are controversial proposals to sell the remainder of the tract. The Brackenridge Field Laboratory was established on 82 acres (33 ha) of the land in 1967.

    In 1916, Gov. James E. Ferguson became involved in a serious quarrel with the University of Texas. The controversy grew out of the board of regents’ refusal to remove certain faculty members whom the governor found objectionable. When Ferguson found he could not have his way, he vetoed practically the entire appropriation for the university. Without sufficient funding, the university would have been forced to close its doors. In the middle of the controversy, Ferguson’s critics brought to light a number of irregularities on the part of the governor. Eventually, the Texas House of Representatives prepared 21 charges against Ferguson, and the Senate convicted him on 10 of them, including misapplication of public funds and receiving $156,000 from an unnamed source. The Texas Senate removed Ferguson as governor and declared him ineligible to hold office.

    In 1921, the legislature appropriated $1.35 million for the purchase of land next to the main campus. However, expansion was hampered by the restriction against using state revenues to fund construction of university buildings as set forth in Article 7, Section 14 of the Constitution. With the completion of Santa Rita No. 1 well and the discovery of oil on university-owned lands in 1923, the university added significantly to its Permanent University Fund. The additional income from Permanent University Fund investments allowed for bond issues in 1931 and 1947, which allowed the legislature to address funding for the university along with the Agricultural and Mechanical College (now known as Texas A&M University). With sufficient funds to finance construction on both campuses, on April 8, 1931, the Forty Second Legislature passed H.B. 368. which dedicated the Agricultural and Mechanical College a 1/3 interest in the Available University Fund, the annual income from Permanent University Fund investments.

    The University of Texas was inducted into the Association of American Universities in 1929. During World War II, the University of Texas was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission.

    In 1950, following Sweatt v. Painter, the University of Texas was the first major university in the South to accept an African-American student. John S. Chase went on to become the first licensed African-American architect in Texas.

    In the fall of 1956, the first black students entered the university’s undergraduate class. Black students were permitted to live in campus dorms, but were barred from campus cafeterias. The University of Texas integrated its facilities and desegregated its dorms in 1965. UT, which had had an open admissions policy, adopted standardized testing for admissions in the mid-1950s at least in part as a conscious strategy to minimize the number of Black undergraduates, given that they were no longer able to simply bar their entry after the Brown decision.

    Following growth in enrollment after World War II, the university unveiled an ambitious master plan in 1960 designed for “10 years of growth” that was intended to “boost the University of Texas into the ranks of the top state universities in the nation.” In 1965, the Texas Legislature granted the university Board of Regents to use eminent domain to purchase additional properties surrounding the original 40 acres (160,000 m^2). The university began buying parcels of land to the north, south, and east of the existing campus, particularly in the Blackland neighborhood to the east and the Brackenridge tract to the southeast, in hopes of using the land to relocate the university’s intramural fields, baseball field, tennis courts, and parking lots.

    On March 6, 1967, the Sixtieth Texas Legislature changed the university’s official name from “The University of Texas” to “The University of Texas at Austin” to reflect the growth of the University of Texas System.

    Recent history

    The first presidential library on a university campus was dedicated on May 22, 1971, with former President Johnson, Lady Bird Johnson and then-President Richard Nixon in attendance. Constructed on the eastern side of the main campus, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum is one of 13 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.

    A statue of Martin Luther King Jr. was unveiled on campus in 1999 and subsequently vandalized. By 2004, John Butler, a professor at the McCombs School of Business suggested moving it to Morehouse College, a historically black college, “a place where he is loved”.

    The University of Texas at Austin has experienced a wave of new construction recently with several significant buildings. On April 30, 2006, the school opened the Blanton Museum of Art. In August 2008, the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center opened, with the hotel and conference center forming part of a new gateway to the university. Also in 2008, Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium was expanded to a seating capacity of 100,119, making it the largest stadium (by capacity) in the state of Texas at the time.

    On January 19, 2011, the university announced the creation of a 24-hour television network in partnership with ESPN, dubbed the Longhorn Network. ESPN agreed to pay a $300 million guaranteed rights fee over 20 years to the university and to IMG College, the school’s multimedia rights partner. The network covers the university’s intercollegiate athletics, music, cultural arts, and academics programs. The channel first aired in September 2011.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:17 pm on May 22, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Earthquake creates ecological opportunity", , at magnitude 8.2., , Earthquake science, , , Marine Biosicence, The positive opportunities that earthquakes can create for wildlife are often overlooked, The range expansion of the rimurapa (bull-kelp) plants seems to be associated with 1855 Wairarapa earthquake – New Zealand’s strongest recorded earthquake at magnitude 8.2., University of Otago [Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo] (NZ)   

    From University of Otago [Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo] (NZ) : “Earthquake creates ecological opportunity” 

    From University of Otago [Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo] (NZ)

    20 May 2021

    Dr Felix Vaux
    Department of Zoology
    University of Otago
    Email felix.vaux@otago.ac.nz

    Ellie Rowley
    Communications Adviser
    External Engagement Division
    University of Otago
    Tel +64 3 479 8200
    Mob +64 21 278 8200
    Email ellie.rowley@otago.ac.nz

    1
    Rimurapa growing at Manurewa Point in the Wairarapa. Photo: supplied.

    A University of Otago study has revealed how earthquake upheaval has affected New Zealand’s coastal species.

    Lead author Dr Felix Vaux, of the Department of Zoology, says earthquakes are typically considered devastating events for people and the environment, but the positive opportunities that they can create for wildlife are often overlooked.

    For the Marsden-funded study, published in Journal of Phycology, the researchers sequenced DNA from 288 rimurapa (bull-kelp) plants from 28 places across central New Zealand.

    “All specimens from the North Island were expected to be the species Durvillaea antarctica, but unexpectedly 10 samples from four sites were Durvillaea poha – about 150 km from the nearest population on the Kaikōura Peninsula,” Dr Vaux says.

    The range expansion of the seaweed seems to be associated with the often forgotten 1855 Wairarapa earthquake – New Zealand’s strongest recorded earthquake since European colonisation, at magnitude 8.2.

    “Uplift and landslides around Wellington cleared swathes of coastline of Durvillaea antarctica, and this seems to have allowed a previously South Island restricted species – Durvillaea poha – to colonise and establish itself in the North Island.

    “This exciting discovery highlights that frequent tectonic activity may be reshaping New Zealand’s biodiversity, including its marine environments, and it reminds us that recent events – such as the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake, may have long-lasting effects on the environment.”

    Dr Vaux believes an increase in the species diversity of bull-kelp in the North Island is likely to be positive for the intertidal community as Durvillaea provides a sheltered habitat for numerous animals – including crustaceans, molluscs such as pāua, spiders and fish.

    “Our discovery is exciting because it indicates that tectonic disturbance can not only change population structure within a species, but it can also create ecological opportunity and shift the distribution of organisms.

    “While many range shifts have been linked to climate change, tectonic disturbance should not be overlooked as a potential facilitator of range expansion. In our fast-changing world, it is becoming increasingly important to understand the forces that shape the distribution of species,” he says.

    See the full article here.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Otago [Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo] (NZ) is a collegiate university based in Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. It scores highly for average research quality, and in 2006 was second in New Zealand only to the University of Auckland (NZ) in the number of A-rated academic researchers it employs. In the past it has topped the New Zealand Performance Based Research Fund evaluation.

    The university was created by a committee led by Thomas Burns, and officially established by an ordinance of the Otago Provincial Council in 1869. The university accepted its first students in July 1871, making it the oldest university in New Zealand and third-oldest in Oceania. Between 1874 and 1961 the University of Otago was a part of the federal University of New Zealand, and issued degrees in its name.

    Otago is known for its vibrant student life, particularly its flatting, which is often in old houses. Otago students have a long standing tradition of naming their flats. The nickname for Otago students “Scarfie” comes from the habit of wearing a scarf during the cold southern winters, but the term “Breathers”, a corruption of “brothers”, is now common. The university’s graduation song, Gaudeamus igitur, iuvenes dum sumus (“Let us rejoice, while we are young”), acknowledges students will continue to live up to the challenge, if not always in the way intended. The university’s student magazine, Critic, is New Zealand’s longest running student magazine.

    The architectural grandeur and accompanying gardens of Otago University led to it being ranked as one of the world’s most beautiful university campuses by the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph and American online news website The Huffington Post.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:33 pm on May 17, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "The Mediterranean's Largest Ever Earthquake Wasn't What We Thought Scientists Say", , , Earthquake science, ,   

    From Science Alert (AU) : “The Mediterranean’s Largest Ever Earthquake Wasn’t What We Thought Scientists Say” 

    ScienceAlert

    From Science Alert (AU)

    16 MAY 2021
    DAVID NIELD

    1
    Crete. Credit: NASA Earth Observatory (US).

    History tells us that in the year 365 CE, the Mediterranean region was rocked by a thunderous earthquake estimated as a magnitude 8.0 or higher. The quake and subsequent tsunami killed tens of thousands of people, destroying Alexandria in Egypt and several other cities.

    However, new research now suggests some previous assumptions about the quake and its seismic legacy might not be correct – and the findings could mean drastic changes for earthquake and tsunami modeling in the region today.

    Up until now, the general consensus has been that the Hellenic subduction zone underneath Crete caused the giant quake, but the latest evidence suggests a cluster of ‘normal faults’ offshore of western and southwestern Crete may have been behind the uplift of vast stretches of exposed ‘fossil beach’ along the Crete coastline.

    2
    Fossil shoreline around Crete, showing the ground level rise. Credit: Richard Ott.

    “Our findings collectively favor the interpretation that damaging earthquakes and tsunamis in the Eastern Mediterranean can originate on normal faults, highlighting the potential hazard from tsunamigenic upper plate normal fault earthquakes,” the researchers write in their paper.

    By studying fossil shorelines exposed by seismic uplift and applying radiocarbon dating techniques, researchers were able to work backwards to figure out with more precision how the ground actually shifted to produce the ruptured landscape.

    The rise of the ground around the beaches – to a height of some 9 meters, or nearly 30 feet in some places – exposed and killed off huge amounts of marine organisms, the shells and skeletons of which reveal vital clues.

    Vermetids and corals were gathered from a total of eight sites around Crete, giving the researchers 32 new data points in terms of geological ages. Computer modeling was then used to fit these dates and locations in with possible seismic activity, with historical writings about earthquakes in the area also taken into consideration.

    The results suggest a series of quakes in the first centuries of the millennium likely caused the uplift, prior to the legendary 365 CE quake, which was previously assumed to be the culprit.

    The new hypothesis is backed up by some other evidence, including the apparent abandonment of the ancient harbor at Phalasarna around 66 CE – though the research team admits that the data is by no means conclusive at this stage.

    In other words, normal faults in the region might be capable of more destruction than was previously thought, and the 365 CE earthquake – which doesn’t seem to have exposed these sections of fossil beach after all – may have originated from normal faults, not the Hellenic subduction zone as many used to think.

    This isn’t just historical curiosity either: it means that modern-day earthquake predictions and modeling might need to be adjusted.

    While the danger from the Hellenic subduction zone might be less than previously thought, the danger from multiple normal faults could be greater than we realized – especially in terms of the clustered timing, which has been noted in studies before [JGR Solid Earth].

    The researchers want to see more seismic measurements and recordings taken around the Mediterranean region, particularly away from shorelines (where the bulk of the data from this study was taken).

    “Based on these findings and the better consistency with the long‐term record of crustal extension in the region, we favor a normal faulting origin for the 365 CE and earlier earthquakes,” conclude the researchers in their published paper.

    “However, we note that more research, and especially geophysical imaging, is required to adequately understand the tectonics and seismic hazard of the Hellenic subduction zone.”

    The research has been published in AGU Advances.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

     
  • richardmitnick 3:52 pm on May 11, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Space-Based System Can Provide Seismic Monitoring for Large Earthquakes and Tsunamis", Earthquake science, , QCN Quake Catcher Network; ShakeAlert System; Earthquake Alert System; Early Warning Labs Mobile app,   

    From Seismological Society of America (US) : “Space-Based System Can Provide Seismic Monitoring for Large Earthquakes and Tsunamis” 

    From Seismological Society of America (US)

    11 May 2021

    Researchers have developed a global earthquake monitoring system that uses the Global Navigational Satellite System (GNSS) to measure crustal deformation.

    The monitoring system within seconds can rapidly assess earthquake magnitude and fault slip distribution for earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 and larger, making it a potentially valuable tool in earthquake and tsunami early warning for these damaging events, Central Washington University (US) geophysicist Timothy Melbourne and colleagues report in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.

    GNSS can potentially characterize a large earthquake much more rapidly than the global seismic network, offering more time for evacuations, drop-and-cover and automatic shut-down of essential infrastructure. “The imperative for doing it quickly is really about saving lives,” said Melbourne.

    1
    GNSS station | Pacific Northwest Geodetic Array, Central Washington University (US).

    GNSS systems consist of Earth-orbiting satellites that send signals to receiver stations on Earth. The signals are used to determine the receivers’ exact locations through time. Earthquakes move and deform the Earth’s crust underneath the receivers, so changes in their locations after an earthquake can be used to monitor and characterize the ruptures.

    Seismic monitoring by GNSS is a “very blunt tool,” compared to seismometer-based networks capable of detecting minute seismic waves, Melbourne said.

    A top-of-the-line seismometer is remarkably sensitive, he noted, able to detect seismic wave velocities as small as tens of nanometers per second.

    GNSS is more coarse, only detecting displacements of centimeters or larger.

    During a big earthquake, however, there is a trade-off between sensitivity and speed. Local seismic networks can be swamped with data during a large, complex event such as the 2016 magnitude 7.8 Kaikoura earthquake in New Zealand, where multiple faults are involved and waves from the initial event reverberate through the crust. To accurately determine magnitude and fault slip distribution, seismologists usually have to wait for the seismic wave data to reach distant stations before it can be accurately characterized, which involves tens of minutes of delay while the waves propagate across the planet.

    The global system created by Melbourne and his colleagues is the first of its kind. It takes in raw GNSS data acquired at any Internet-connected receiver on Earth, positions these data, and then re-transmits the positioned data back to any Internet-connected device, within a second.

    The researchers assessed their system over one typical week, using data from 1270 receiver stations across the world. They found that the average time it took data to travel from a receiver to the processing center at Central Washington University was about half a second—from anywhere in the world. It took an average of about one-200th of a second to convert that data into estimates of GNSS position.

    This means that the GNSS global monitoring system can detect changes well before the earthquake itself is done rupturing, since it can take tens of seconds—or even minutes for the largest earthquakes—“for the fault to unzip and radiate all that energy into the planet,” Melbourne said.

    The speed of a global GNSS seismic monitoring system might be even more important for tsunami warnings, he noted. At the moment, an international monitoring program uses data from a global seismic network to determine an earthquake magnitude, combined with data from global tide gauges and buoys that detect a tsunami wave in the open ocean, to determine whether a tsunami advisory should be sent to the public.

    The seismic network could take 15 minutes or more to determine the magnitude of an earthquake that causes a tsunami, said Melbourne, and the tidal gauges and buoys could take up to an hour to deliver data, depending on their proximity to the earthquake. GNSS receivers, on the other hand, could characterize an earthquake in tens of seconds with sufficient nearby stations.

    “The real power of the GNSS for the tsunami is buying more time and greater accuracy from the get-go for the warnings that come out,” Melbourne said.

    GNSS receiver stations are proliferating around the world as more people use them, especially for surveying or monitoring in mining and construction. But the global GNSS monitoring system depends on open-source data, which has not expanded at the same rate. In some countries, data are sold to recover the costs of constructing and maintaining the receivers, Melbourne said, making their operators reluctant to make the data freely available.

    “Part of what I do is trying to get countries in seismically active areas to open up their data sets for hazard mitigation purposes,” said Melbourne.

    For instance, GNSS operators in New Zealand, Ecuador, Chile and elsewhere partner with Melbourne’s group, benefiting from the decade of work that the team has put into their GNSS positioning system. They send raw data from receivers in their countries to Central Washington, where Melbourne and colleagues position the data within a global reference frame and send it back within subseconds for further research and monitoring.

    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Earthquake Alert

    1

    Earthquake Alert

    Earthquake Network project is a research project which aims at developing and maintaining a crowdsourced smartphone-based earthquake warning system at a global level. Smartphones made available by the population are used to detect the earthquake waves using the on-board accelerometers. When an earthquake is detected, an earthquake warning is issued in order to alert the population not yet reached by the damaging waves of the earthquake.

    The project started on January 1, 2013 with the release of the homonymous Android application Earthquake Network. The author of the research project and developer of the smartphone application is Francesco Finazzi of the University of Bergamo, Italy.

    Get the app in the Google Play store.

    3
    Smartphone network spatial distribution (green and red dots) on December 4, 2015

    Meet The Quake-Catcher Network

    QCN bloc

    Quake-Catcher Network

    The Quake-Catcher Network is a collaborative initiative for developing the world’s largest, low-cost strong-motion seismic network by utilizing sensors in and attached to internet-connected computers. With your help, the Quake-Catcher Network can provide better understanding of earthquakes, give early warning to schools, emergency response systems, and others. The Quake-Catcher Network also provides educational software designed to help teach about earthquakes and earthquake hazards.

    After almost eight years at Stanford, and a year at CalTech, the QCN project is moving to the University of Southern California Dept. of Earth Sciences. QCN will be sponsored by the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) and the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC).

    The Quake-Catcher Network is a distributed computing network that links volunteer hosted computers into a real-time motion sensing network. QCN is one of many scientific computing projects that runs on the world-renowned distributed computing platform Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC).

    The volunteer computers monitor vibrational sensors called MEMS accelerometers, and digitally transmit “triggers” to QCN’s servers whenever strong new motions are observed. QCN’s servers sift through these signals, and determine which ones represent earthquakes, and which ones represent cultural noise (like doors slamming, or trucks driving by).

    There are two categories of sensors used by QCN: 1) internal mobile device sensors, and 2) external USB sensors.

    Mobile Devices: MEMS sensors are often included in laptops, games, cell phones, and other electronic devices for hardware protection, navigation, and game control. When these devices are still and connected to QCN, QCN software monitors the internal accelerometer for strong new shaking. Unfortunately, these devices are rarely secured to the floor, so they may bounce around when a large earthquake occurs. While this is less than ideal for characterizing the regional ground shaking, many such sensors can still provide useful information about earthquake locations and magnitudes.

    USB Sensors: MEMS sensors can be mounted to the floor and connected to a desktop computer via a USB cable. These sensors have several advantages over mobile device sensors. 1) By mounting them to the floor, they measure more reliable shaking than mobile devices. 2) These sensors typically have lower noise and better resolution of 3D motion. 3) Desktops are often left on and do not move. 4) The USB sensor is physically removed from the game, phone, or laptop, so human interaction with the device doesn’t reduce the sensors’ performance. 5) USB sensors can be aligned to North, so we know what direction the horizontal “X” and “Y” axes correspond to.

    If you are a science teacher at a K-12 school, please apply for a free USB sensor and accompanying QCN software. QCN has been able to purchase sensors to donate to schools in need. If you are interested in donating to the program or requesting a sensor, click here.

    BOINC is a leader in the field(s) of Distributed Computing, Grid Computing and Citizen Cyberscience.BOINC is more properly the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, developed at UC Berkeley.

    QuakeAlertUSA

    1

    About Early Warning Labs, LLC

    Early Warning Labs, LLC (EWL) is an Earthquake Early Warning technology developer and integrator located in Santa Monica, CA. EWL is partnered with industry leading GIS provider ESRI, Inc. and is collaborating with the US Government and university partners.

    EWL is investing millions of dollars over the next 36 months to complete the final integration and delivery of Earthquake Early Warning to individual consumers, government entities, and commercial users.

    EWL’s mission is to improve, expand, and lower the costs of the existing earthquake early warning systems.

    EWL is developing a robust cloud server environment to handle low-cost mass distribution of these warnings. In addition, Early Warning Labs is researching and developing automated response standards and systems that allow public and private users to take pre-defined automated actions to protect lives and assets.

    EWL has an existing beta R&D test system installed at one of the largest studios in Southern California. The goal of this system is to stress test EWL’s hardware, software, and alert signals while improving latency and reliability.

    Earthquake safety is a responsibility shared by billions worldwide. The Quake-Catcher Network (QCN) provides software so that individuals can join together to improve earthquake monitoring, earthquake awareness, and the science of earthquakes. The Quake-Catcher Network (QCN) links existing networked laptops and desktops in hopes to form the worlds largest strong-motion seismic network.

    Below, the QCN Quake Catcher Network map
    QCN Quake Catcher Network map

    ShakeAlert: An Earthquake Early Warning System for the West Coast of the United States

    The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) along with a coalition of State and university partners is developing and testing an earthquake early warning (EEW) system called ShakeAlert for the west coast of the United States. Long term funding must be secured before the system can begin sending general public notifications, however, some limited pilot projects are active and more are being developed. The USGS has set the goal of beginning limited public notifications in 2018.

    Watch a video describing how ShakeAlert works in English or Spanish.

    The primary project partners include:

    United States Geological Survey
    California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES)
    California Geological Survey
    California Institute of Technology
    University of California Berkeley
    University of Washington
    University of Oregon
    Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

    The Earthquake Threat

    Earthquakes pose a national challenge because more than 143 million Americans live in areas of significant seismic risk across 39 states. Most of our Nation’s earthquake risk is concentrated on the West Coast of the United States. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has estimated the average annualized loss from earthquakes, nationwide, to be $5.3 billion, with 77 percent of that figure ($4.1 billion) coming from California, Washington, and Oregon, and 66 percent ($3.5 billion) from California alone. In the next 30 years, California has a 99.7 percent chance of a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake and the Pacific Northwest has a 10 percent chance of a magnitude 8 to 9 megathrust earthquake on the Cascadia subduction zone.

    Part of the Solution

    Today, the technology exists to detect earthquakes, so quickly, that an alert can reach some areas before strong shaking arrives. The purpose of the ShakeAlert system is to identify and characterize an earthquake a few seconds after it begins, calculate the likely intensity of ground shaking that will result, and deliver warnings to people and infrastructure in harm’s way. This can be done by detecting the first energy to radiate from an earthquake, the P-wave energy, which rarely causes damage. Using P-wave information, we first estimate the location and the magnitude of the earthquake. Then, the anticipated ground shaking across the region to be affected is estimated and a warning is provided to local populations. The method can provide warning before the S-wave arrives, bringing the strong shaking that usually causes most of the damage.

    Studies of earthquake early warning methods in California have shown that the warning time would range from a few seconds to a few tens of seconds. ShakeAlert can give enough time to slow trains and taxiing planes, to prevent cars from entering bridges and tunnels, to move away from dangerous machines or chemicals in work environments and to take cover under a desk, or to automatically shut down and isolate industrial systems. Taking such actions before shaking starts can reduce damage and casualties during an earthquake. It can also prevent cascading failures in the aftermath of an event. For example, isolating utilities before shaking starts can reduce the number of fire initiations.

    System Goal

    The USGS will issue public warnings of potentially damaging earthquakes and provide warning parameter data to government agencies and private users on a region-by-region basis, as soon as the ShakeAlert system, its products, and its parametric data meet minimum quality and reliability standards in those geographic regions. The USGS has set the goal of beginning limited public notifications in 2018. Product availability will expand geographically via ANSS regional seismic networks, such that ShakeAlert products and warnings become available for all regions with dense seismic instrumentation.

    Current Status

    The West Coast ShakeAlert system is being developed by expanding and upgrading the infrastructure of regional seismic networks that are part of the Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS); the California Integrated Seismic Network (CISN) is made up of the Southern California Seismic Network, SCSN) and the Northern California Seismic System, NCSS and the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN). This enables the USGS and ANSS to leverage their substantial investment in sensor networks, data telemetry systems, data processing centers, and software for earthquake monitoring activities residing in these network centers. The ShakeAlert system has been sending live alerts to “beta” users in California since January of 2012 and in the Pacific Northwest since February of 2015.

    In February of 2016 the USGS, along with its partners, rolled-out the next-generation ShakeAlert early warning test system in California joined by Oregon and Washington in April 2017. This West Coast-wide “production prototype” has been designed for redundant, reliable operations. The system includes geographically distributed servers, and allows for automatic fail-over if connection is lost.

    This next-generation system will not yet support public warnings but does allow selected early adopters to develop and deploy pilot implementations that take protective actions triggered by the ShakeAlert notifications in areas with sufficient sensor coverage.

    Authorities

    The USGS will develop and operate the ShakeAlert system, and issue public notifications under collaborative authorities with FEMA, as part of the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program, as enacted by the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977, 42 U.S.C. §§ 7704 SEC. 2.

    For More Information

    Robert de Groot, ShakeAlert National Coordinator for Communication, Education, and Outreach
    rdegroot@usgs.gov
    626-583-7225

    Learn more about EEW Research

    ShakeAlert Fact Sheet

    ShakeAlert Implementation Plan

    Earthquake Early Warning Introduction

    The United States Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with state agencies, university partners, and private industry, is developing an earthquake early warning system (EEW) for the West Coast of the United States called ShakeAlert. The USGS Earthquake Hazards Program aims to mitigate earthquake losses in the United States. Citizens, first responders, and engineers rely on the USGS for accurate and timely information about where earthquakes occur, the ground shaking intensity in different locations, and the likelihood is of future significant ground shaking.

    The ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning System recently entered its first phase of operations. The USGS working in partnership with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is now allowing for the testing of public alerting via apps, Wireless Emergency Alerts, and by other means throughout California.

    ShakeAlert partners in Oregon and Washington are working with the USGS to test public alerting in those states sometime in 2020.

    ShakeAlert has demonstrated the feasibility of earthquake early warning, from event detection to producing USGS issued ShakeAlerts ® and will continue to undergo testing and will improve over time. In particular, robust and reliable alert delivery pathways for automated actions are currently being developed and implemented by private industry partners for use in California, Oregon, and Washington.

    Earthquake Early Warning Background

    The objective of an earthquake early warning system is to rapidly detect the initiation of an earthquake, estimate the level of ground shaking intensity to be expected, and issue a warning before significant ground shaking starts. A network of seismic sensors detects the first energy to radiate from an earthquake, the P-wave energy, and the location and the magnitude of the earthquake is rapidly determined. Then, the anticipated ground shaking across the region to be affected is estimated. The system can provide warning before the S-wave arrives, which brings the strong shaking that usually causes most of the damage. Warnings will be distributed to local and state public emergency response officials, critical infrastructure, private businesses, and the public. EEW systems have been successfully implemented in Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, and other nations with varying degrees of sophistication and coverage.

    Earthquake early warning can provide enough time to:

    Instruct students and employees to take a protective action such as Drop, Cover, and Hold On
    Initiate mass notification procedures
    Open fire-house doors and notify local first responders
    Slow and stop trains and taxiing planes
    Install measures to prevent/limit additional cars from going on bridges, entering tunnels, and being on freeway overpasses before the shaking starts
    Move people away from dangerous machines or chemicals in work environments
    Shut down gas lines, water treatment plants, or nuclear reactors
    Automatically shut down and isolate industrial systems

    However, earthquake warning notifications must be transmitted without requiring human review and response action must be automated, as the total warning times are short depending on geographic distance and varying soil densities from the epicenter.

    GNSS-Global Navigational Satellite System

    1
    GNSS station | Pacific Northwest Geodetic Array, Central Washington University (US)

    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    See the full article here.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Seismological Society of America (US) is an international scientific society devoted to the advancement of seismology and the understanding of earthquakes for the benefit of society. Founded in 1906, the society has members throughout the world representing seismologists and other geophysicists, geologists, engineers, insurers, and policy-makers in preparedness and safety.

    The society was established by academic, government, and other scientific and engineering professionals in the months following the April 18th San Francisco earthquake, with the first meeting of the Board of Directors taking place on December 1, 1906.

    The Seismological Society of America publishes the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (BSSA), a journal of research in earthquake seismology and related disciplines since 1911, and Seismological Research Letters (SRL), which serves as a forum for informal communication among seismologists, as well as between seismologists and those non-specialists interested in seismology and related disciplines.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:21 pm on May 3, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Strong earthquake jolts Assam", , , Earthquake science,   

    From temblor : “Strong earthquake jolts Assam” 

    1

    From temblor

    April 29, 2021

    Akash Kharita, Indian Institute of Technology (IN)

    A strong earthquake rocked the northeastern Indian state of Assam on Wednesday morning at 7:51 am local time. The National Centre for Seismology (NCS), India’s agency responsible for monitoring earthquakes via a regional network of seismic stations, determined that the magnitude-6.4 event struck 4.8 miles (7.7 kilometers) northwest of the town of Dhekiajuli and 26.7 miles (43 kilometers) west of Tezpur, a city on the banks of the Brahmaputra River. The NCS reports that the quake ruptured at a depth of 10.5 miles (17 kilometers). The United States Geological Survey and European Mediterranean Seismological Centre both report that the event registered as a magnitude-6.0 earthquake. They calculated this magnitude using teleseismic data collected from stations located more than approximately 620 miles (1000 kilometers) from the quake.

    1
    Earthquakes of magnitude-4.0 and larger in the Assam and surrounding region (Jan. 1960-Mar. 2020), along with the April 28 mainshock. Credit: National Centre for Seismology.

    Approximately 70 aftershocks, with magnitudes ranging from 2.3 to 4.9, have been detected by NCS within a day after the mainshock. These quakes appear to align along a roughly northwest-southeast trend near the mainshock. Aftershocks are common following large earthquakes, and become less frequent with time.

    The chief minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal, urged people to stay alert. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also assured those in the area that India’s central government would provide all the help it could.

    As of now, there are no immediate reports of loss of life, though several videos show severe infrastructure damage in the city Guwahati, the town of Tezpur and state of Bengal.

    A quake in the Himalayan foothills

    The state of Assam lies in the northeastern arm of India, sitting south of the mountainous country of Bhutan and the rugged Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. Nevertheless, Assam feels the effects of convergence between the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates that drives up the mountains. The southernmost Himalayan thrust fault — the type of fault that successively built the Himalayan range by shoving Eurasia over India — defines the boundary between the two plates. The surface expression of this boundary, interchangeably called the Himalayan Frontal Thrust or the Main Frontal Thrust, runs through the northern part of Assam and has hosted several major earthquakes in the past, whereas relatively minor faults splice the state at different orientations.

    The Shillong Plateau, which lies south of Assam, complicates the region compared to other parts of the Himalayan range. According to Byron Adams, a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow at the University of Bristol, “It’s possible that the Indian plate behind the Shillong Plateau, which includes Assam, has low flexural strength, so it doesn’t bend easily under the load of either the overriding Eurasian plate or sediment coming from the rivers draining the range.” Instead, this part of the Indian plate breaks, with numerous faults slicing through the region at irregular angles, he says. “There may be more heterogeneities in the Indian crust in the east, so as the plate tries to subduct, it breaks instead of bending, creating more northwest-trending faults between the Himalayan range and the Shillong Plateau.”

    Because of the numerous active faults crisscrossing the region, the NCS classifies this area within its zone of highest seismic hazard (Zone 5).

    2
    Earthquake hazard zones in India. Credit: PlaneMad/Wikimedia.

    The Kopili Fault

    The mainshock likely struck near the Kopili Fault, according to a preliminary analysis by the NCS. This fault trends in a northwest-southeast direction, indicating it is a “minor” fault, though it’s still capable of substantial seismic activity. Scientists believe this fault hosted the 1869 magnitude-7.5 Chachar earthquake and the 1947 magnitude-7.3 Hajoi earthquake (Sutar et al., 2017). This fault may have played a role in a 1941 magnitude-6.5 event (Kayal et. al., 2010).

    According to Supriyo Mitra, a professor at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata Seismological Observatory, the Kopili fault zone moves with right-lateral strike-slip motion, meaning that the northeastern side of the fault moves to the southeast along a very steep fault surface. For reference, this is the same sense of motion along the famed San Andreas Fault. As the Shillong Plateau moves northward, says Mitra, that movement may be accommodated by the Kopili Fault zone.

    Adams points out that the focal mechanism produced by the United States Geological Survey indicates a substantial thrust component, along with right-lateral movement. “If you put some right-lateral shear on those northwest-trending faults between the Himalayan range and the Shillong Plateau, you might expect something like what just happened in Assam.”

    References

    Kayal, J. R., Sergei S. Arefiev, Saurabh Baruah, Ruben Tatevossian, Naba Gogoi, Manichandra Sanoujam, J. L. Gautam, Devajit Hazarika, and Dipak Borah. “The 2009 Bhutan and Assam felt earthquakes (Mw 6.3 and 5.1) at the Kopili fault in the northeast Himalaya region.” Geomatics, Natural Hazards and Risk 1, no. 3 (2010): 273-281.

    National Centre for Seimology Report on 28th April 2021 Earthquake (M 6.4), Sonitpur, Assam, https://seismo.gov.in/sites/default/files/pressrelease/Assam_EQ_Report_28Apr2021.pdf

    Sutar, A. K., Verma, M., Pandey, A. P., Bansal, B. K., Prasad, P. R., Rao, P. R., & Sharma, B. (2017). Assessment of maximum earthquake potential of the Kopili fault zone in northeast India and strong ground motion simulation. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 147, 439-451.

    Further Reading

    Clark, M. K., & Bilham, R. (2008). Miocene rise of the Shillong Plateau and the beginning of the end for the Eastern Himalaya. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 269(3-4), 337-351.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Earthquake Alert

    1

    Earthquake Alert

    Earthquake Network projectEarthquake Network is a research project which aims at developing and maintaining a crowdsourced smartphone-based earthquake warning system at a global level. Smartphones made available by the population are used to detect the earthquake waves using the on-board accelerometers. When an earthquake is detected, an earthquake warning is issued in order to alert the population not yet reached by the damaging waves of the earthquake.

    The project started on January 1, 2013 with the release of the homonymous Android application Earthquake Network. The author of the research project and developer of the smartphone application is Francesco Finazzi of the University of Bergamo, Italy.

    Get the app in the Google Play store.

    3
    Smartphone network spatial distribution (green and red dots) on December 4, 2015

    Meet The Quake-Catcher Network

    QCN bloc

    Quake-Catcher Network

    The Quake-Catcher Network is a collaborative initiative for developing the world’s largest, low-cost strong-motion seismic network by utilizing sensors in and attached to internet-connected computers. With your help, the Quake-Catcher Network can provide better understanding of earthquakes, give early warning to schools, emergency response systems, and others. The Quake-Catcher Network also provides educational software designed to help teach about earthquakes and earthquake hazards.

    After almost eight years at Stanford, and a year at CalTech, the QCN project is moving to the University of Southern California Dept. of Earth Sciences. QCN will be sponsored by the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) and the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC).

    The Quake-Catcher Network is a distributed computing network that links volunteer hosted computers into a real-time motion sensing network. QCN is one of many scientific computing projects that runs on the world-renowned distributed computing platform Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC).

    The volunteer computers monitor vibrational sensors called MEMS accelerometers, and digitally transmit “triggers” to QCN’s servers whenever strong new motions are observed. QCN’s servers sift through these signals, and determine which ones represent earthquakes, and which ones represent cultural noise (like doors slamming, or trucks driving by).

    There are two categories of sensors used by QCN: 1) internal mobile device sensors, and 2) external USB sensors.

    Mobile Devices: MEMS sensors are often included in laptops, games, cell phones, and other electronic devices for hardware protection, navigation, and game control. When these devices are still and connected to QCN, QCN software monitors the internal accelerometer for strong new shaking. Unfortunately, these devices are rarely secured to the floor, so they may bounce around when a large earthquake occurs. While this is less than ideal for characterizing the regional ground shaking, many such sensors can still provide useful information about earthquake locations and magnitudes.

    USB Sensors: MEMS sensors can be mounted to the floor and connected to a desktop computer via a USB cable. These sensors have several advantages over mobile device sensors. 1) By mounting them to the floor, they measure more reliable shaking than mobile devices. 2) These sensors typically have lower noise and better resolution of 3D motion. 3) Desktops are often left on and do not move. 4) The USB sensor is physically removed from the game, phone, or laptop, so human interaction with the device doesn’t reduce the sensors’ performance. 5) USB sensors can be aligned to North, so we know what direction the horizontal “X” and “Y” axes correspond to.

    If you are a science teacher at a K-12 school, please apply for a free USB sensor and accompanying QCN software. QCN has been able to purchase sensors to donate to schools in need. If you are interested in donating to the program or requesting a sensor, click here.

    BOINC is a leader in the field(s) of Distributed Computing, Grid Computing and Citizen Cyberscience.BOINC is more properly the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, developed at UC Berkeley.

    Earthquake safety is a responsibility shared by billions worldwide. The Quake-Catcher Network (QCN) provides software so that individuals can join together to improve earthquake monitoring, earthquake awareness, and the science of earthquakes. The Quake-Catcher Network (QCN) links existing networked laptops and desktops in hopes to form the worlds largest strong-motion seismic network.

    Below, the QCN Quake Catcher Network map
    QCN Quake Catcher Network map

    ShakeAlert: An Earthquake Early Warning System for the West Coast of the United States

    The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) along with a coalition of State and university partners is developing and testing an earthquake early warning (EEW) system called ShakeAlert for the west coast of the United States. Long term funding must be secured before the system can begin sending general public notifications, however, some limited pilot projects are active and more are being developed. The USGS has set the goal of beginning limited public notifications in 2018.

    Watch a video describing how ShakeAlert works in English or Spanish.

    The primary project partners include:

    United States Geological Survey
    California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES)
    California Geological Survey
    California Institute of Technology
    University of California Berkeley
    University of Washington
    University of Oregon
    Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

    The Earthquake Threat

    Earthquakes pose a national challenge because more than 143 million Americans live in areas of significant seismic risk across 39 states. Most of our Nation’s earthquake risk is concentrated on the West Coast of the United States. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has estimated the average annualized loss from earthquakes, nationwide, to be $5.3 billion, with 77 percent of that figure ($4.1 billion) coming from California, Washington, and Oregon, and 66 percent ($3.5 billion) from California alone. In the next 30 years, California has a 99.7 percent chance of a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake and the Pacific Northwest has a 10 percent chance of a magnitude 8 to 9 megathrust earthquake on the Cascadia subduction zone.

    Part of the Solution

    Today, the technology exists to detect earthquakes, so quickly, that an alert can reach some areas before strong shaking arrives. The purpose of the ShakeAlert system is to identify and characterize an earthquake a few seconds after it begins, calculate the likely intensity of ground shaking that will result, and deliver warnings to people and infrastructure in harm’s way. This can be done by detecting the first energy to radiate from an earthquake, the P-wave energy, which rarely causes damage. Using P-wave information, we first estimate the location and the magnitude of the earthquake. Then, the anticipated ground shaking across the region to be affected is estimated and a warning is provided to local populations. The method can provide warning before the S-wave arrives, bringing the strong shaking that usually causes most of the damage.

    Studies of earthquake early warning methods in California have shown that the warning time would range from a few seconds to a few tens of seconds. ShakeAlert can give enough time to slow trains and taxiing planes, to prevent cars from entering bridges and tunnels, to move away from dangerous machines or chemicals in work environments and to take cover under a desk, or to automatically shut down and isolate industrial systems. Taking such actions before shaking starts can reduce damage and casualties during an earthquake. It can also prevent cascading failures in the aftermath of an event. For example, isolating utilities before shaking starts can reduce the number of fire initiations.

    System Goal

    The USGS will issue public warnings of potentially damaging earthquakes and provide warning parameter data to government agencies and private users on a region-by-region basis, as soon as the ShakeAlert system, its products, and its parametric data meet minimum quality and reliability standards in those geographic regions. The USGS has set the goal of beginning limited public notifications in 2018. Product availability will expand geographically via ANSS regional seismic networks, such that ShakeAlert products and warnings become available for all regions with dense seismic instrumentation.

    Current Status

    The West Coast ShakeAlert system is being developed by expanding and upgrading the infrastructure of regional seismic networks that are part of the Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS); the California Integrated Seismic Network (CISN) is made up of the Southern California Seismic Network, SCSN) and the Northern California Seismic System, NCSS and the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN). This enables the USGS and ANSS to leverage their substantial investment in sensor networks, data telemetry systems, data processing centers, and software for earthquake monitoring activities residing in these network centers. The ShakeAlert system has been sending live alerts to “beta” users in California since January of 2012 and in the Pacific Northwest since February of 2015.

    In February of 2016 the USGS, along with its partners, rolled-out the next-generation ShakeAlert early warning test system in California joined by Oregon and Washington in April 2017. This West Coast-wide “production prototype” has been designed for redundant, reliable operations. The system includes geographically distributed servers, and allows for automatic fail-over if connection is lost.

    This next-generation system will not yet support public warnings but does allow selected early adopters to develop and deploy pilot implementations that take protective actions triggered by the ShakeAlert notifications in areas with sufficient sensor coverage.

    Authorities

    The USGS will develop and operate the ShakeAlert system, and issue public notifications under collaborative authorities with FEMA, as part of the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program, as enacted by the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977, 42 U.S.C. §§ 7704 SEC. 2.

    For More Information

    Robert de Groot, ShakeAlert National Coordinator for Communication, Education, and Outreach
    rdegroot@usgs.gov
    626-583-7225

    Learn more about EEW Research

    ShakeAlert Fact Sheet

    ShakeAlert Implementation Plan

    QuakeAlertUSA

    1

    About Early Warning Labs, LLC

    Early Warning Labs, LLC (EWL) is an Earthquake Early Warning technology developer and integrator located in Santa Monica, CA. EWL is partnered with industry leading GIS provider ESRI, Inc. and is collaborating with the US Government and university partners.

    EWL is investing millions of dollars over the next 36 months to complete the final integration and delivery of Earthquake Early Warning to individual consumers, government entities, and commercial users.

    EWL’s mission is to improve, expand, and lower the costs of the existing earthquake early warning systems.

    EWL is developing a robust cloud server environment to handle low-cost mass distribution of these warnings. In addition, Early Warning Labs is researching and developing automated response standards and systems that allow public and private users to take pre-defined automated actions to protect lives and assets.

    EWL has an existing beta R&D test system installed at one of the largest studios in Southern California. The goal of this system is to stress test EWL’s hardware, software, and alert signals while improving latency and reliability.

    Earthquake Early Warning Introduction

    The United States Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with state agencies, university partners, and private industry, is developing an earthquake early warning system (EEW) for the West Coast of the United States called ShakeAlert. The USGS Earthquake Hazards Program aims to mitigate earthquake losses in the United States. Citizens, first responders, and engineers rely on the USGS for accurate and timely information about where earthquakes occur, the ground shaking intensity in different locations, and the likelihood is of future significant ground shaking.

    The ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning System recently entered its first phase of operations. The USGS working in partnership with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is now allowing for the testing of public alerting via apps, Wireless Emergency Alerts, and by other means throughout California.

    ShakeAlert partners in Oregon and Washington are working with the USGS to test public alerting in those states sometime in 2020.

    ShakeAlert has demonstrated the feasibility of earthquake early warning, from event detection to producing USGS issued ShakeAlerts ® and will continue to undergo testing and will improve over time. In particular, robust and reliable alert delivery pathways for automated actions are currently being developed and implemented by private industry partners for use in California, Oregon, and Washington.

    Earthquake Early Warning Background

    The objective of an earthquake early warning system is to rapidly detect the initiation of an earthquake, estimate the level of ground shaking intensity to be expected, and issue a warning before significant ground shaking starts. A network of seismic sensors detects the first energy to radiate from an earthquake, the P-wave energy, and the location and the magnitude of the earthquake is rapidly determined. Then, the anticipated ground shaking across the region to be affected is estimated. The system can provide warning before the S-wave arrives, which brings the strong shaking that usually causes most of the damage. Warnings will be distributed to local and state public emergency response officials, critical infrastructure, private businesses, and the public. EEW systems have been successfully implemented in Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, and other nations with varying degrees of sophistication and coverage.

    Earthquake early warning can provide enough time to:

    Instruct students and employees to take a protective action such as Drop, Cover, and Hold On
    Initiate mass notification procedures
    Open fire-house doors and notify local first responders
    Slow and stop trains and taxiing planes
    Install measures to prevent/limit additional cars from going on bridges, entering tunnels, and being on freeway overpasses before the shaking starts
    Move people away from dangerous machines or chemicals in work environments
    Shut down gas lines, water treatment plants, or nuclear reactors
    Automatically shut down and isolate industrial systems

    However, earthquake warning notifications must be transmitted without requiring human review and response action must be automated, as the total warning times are short depending on geographic distance and varying soil densities from the epicenter.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:39 pm on April 28, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Flare Ups and Crustal removal in North East Japan", , Early Warning Labs, , , , Earthquake science, From Tohoku University [東北大学](JP), , , , Subduction causes tectonic erosion as the Pacific plate grinds away the base of the continental crust., Subduction erosion found in Northeast Japan has permanently destroyed crucial pieces of information to understand our planet., The crustal record is the geologist's book for studying the history of the Earth., The Japanese Islands are at the juncture between the Pacific and Asian plates which is the locus of continental growth through volcanic activity and is also the site of recycling of the Earth's crust., The Pacific plate dives beneath the Asian continental crust., The tectonic erosion of the continental crust has been related to the occurrence of megathrust earthquakes.,   

    From Tohoku University [東北大学](JP): “Flare Ups and Crustal removal in North East Japan” 

    From Tohoku University [東北大学](JP)
    2021-04-16 [Just now in social media.]

    1
    Rocks in the Northeast of Japan. Credit: Daniel Pastor-Galán and Tatsuki Tsujimori.

    The crustal record is the geologist’s book for studying the history of the Earth. It contains information to understand important aspects such as when the earliest crustal rocks separated from the mantle; the origin and evolution of life; the inception and development of plate tectonics, oceans, atmosphere and the magnetic field.

    Unfortunately, this information is disrupted and fragmented due to growth and recession. Subduction erosion found in Northeast Japan has permanently destroyed crucial pieces of information to understand our planet.

    The Japanese Islands are at the juncture between the Pacific and Asian plates which is the locus of continental growth through volcanic activity and is also the site of recycling of the Earth’s crust as the Pacific plate dives beneath the Asian continental crust. This process, known as subduction, not only recycles the Pacific oceanic crust, but also causes tectonic erosion as the Pacific plate grinds away the base of the continental crust. The tectonic erosion of the continental crust has been related to the occurrence of megathrust earthquakes.

    2
    Rocks in the Northeast of Japan.Ⓒ Daniel Pastor-Galán and Tatsuki Tsujimori.

    An international research team led by Daniel Pastor-Galán, assistant professor at the Frontier Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Sciences (FRIS) at Tohoku University, and Tatsuki Tsujimori, professor at the Center for Northeast Asian Studies (CNEAS), has defined the events that punctuated the crustal history of Northeast Japan. The study has revealed the main ages of the events that shaped the geological roots of Japan.

    Science paper:
    Earth and Planetary Science Letters

    The results show a fierce history of periodic magmatic flare-ups; subduction erosion when the Pacific slab destroyed the Japanese continental crust; the complete removal and substitution of the original Japanese crust roughly 270 million years ago; and the total melting of such crust around 110 million years ago.

    Understanding the history of subduction, the processes associated with it and the mechanisms operating at the base of the crust are crucial to understanding the history of the continental crust and the trends in potential geohazards. Pastor-Galán says “the study represents a landmark towards understanding the origin and evolution of the geological roots of Japan, and the mechanisms operating at subduction zones in deep time.”
    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Earthquake Alert

    1

    Earthquake Alert

    Earthquake Network project is a research project which aims at developing and maintaining a crowdsourced smartphone-based earthquake warning system at a global level. Smartphones made available by the population are used to detect the earthquake waves using the on-board accelerometers. When an earthquake is detected, an earthquake warning is issued in order to alert the population not yet reached by the damaging waves of the earthquake.

    The project started on January 1, 2013 with the release of the homonymous Android application Earthquake Network. The author of the research project and developer of the smartphone application is Francesco Finazzi of the University of Bergamo, Italy.

    Get the app in the Google Play store.

    3
    Smartphone network spatial distribution (green and red dots) on December 4, 2015

    Meet The Quake-Catcher Network

    QCN bloc

    Quake-Catcher Network

    The Quake-Catcher Network is a collaborative initiative for developing the world’s largest, low-cost strong-motion seismic network by utilizing sensors in and attached to internet-connected computers. With your help, the Quake-Catcher Network can provide better understanding of earthquakes, give early warning to schools, emergency response systems, and others. The Quake-Catcher Network also provides educational software designed to help teach about earthquakes and earthquake hazards.

    After almost eight years at Stanford, and a year at CalTech, the QCN project is moving to the University of Southern California Dept. of Earth Sciences. QCN will be sponsored by the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) and the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC).

    The Quake-Catcher Network is a distributed computing network that links volunteer hosted computers into a real-time motion sensing network. QCN is one of many scientific computing projects that runs on the world-renowned distributed computing platform Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC).

    The volunteer computers monitor vibrational sensors called MEMS accelerometers, and digitally transmit “triggers” to QCN’s servers whenever strong new motions are observed. QCN’s servers sift through these signals, and determine which ones represent earthquakes, and which ones represent cultural noise (like doors slamming, or trucks driving by).

    There are two categories of sensors used by QCN: 1) internal mobile device sensors, and 2) external USB sensors.

    Mobile Devices: MEMS sensors are often included in laptops, games, cell phones, and other electronic devices for hardware protection, navigation, and game control. When these devices are still and connected to QCN, QCN software monitors the internal accelerometer for strong new shaking. Unfortunately, these devices are rarely secured to the floor, so they may bounce around when a large earthquake occurs. While this is less than ideal for characterizing the regional ground shaking, many such sensors can still provide useful information about earthquake locations and magnitudes.

    USB Sensors: MEMS sensors can be mounted to the floor and connected to a desktop computer via a USB cable. These sensors have several advantages over mobile device sensors. 1) By mounting them to the floor, they measure more reliable shaking than mobile devices. 2) These sensors typically have lower noise and better resolution of 3D motion. 3) Desktops are often left on and do not move. 4) The USB sensor is physically removed from the game, phone, or laptop, so human interaction with the device doesn’t reduce the sensors’ performance. 5) USB sensors can be aligned to North, so we know what direction the horizontal “X” and “Y” axes correspond to.

    If you are a science teacher at a K-12 school, please apply for a free USB sensor and accompanying QCN software. QCN has been able to purchase sensors to donate to schools in need. If you are interested in donating to the program or requesting a sensor, click here.

    BOINC is a leader in the field(s) of Distributed Computing, Grid Computing and Citizen Cyberscience.BOINC is more properly the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, developed at UC Berkeley.

    Earthquake safety is a responsibility shared by billions worldwide. The Quake-Catcher Network (QCN) provides software so that individuals can join together to improve earthquake monitoring, earthquake awareness, and the science of earthquakes. The Quake-Catcher Network (QCN) links existing networked laptops and desktops in hopes to form the worlds largest strong-motion seismic network.

    Below, the QCN Quake Catcher Network map
    QCN Quake Catcher Network map

    ShakeAlert: An Earthquake Early Warning System for the West Coast of the United States

    The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) along with a coalition of State and university partners is developing and testing an earthquake early warning (EEW) system called ShakeAlert for the west coast of the United States. Long term funding must be secured before the system can begin sending general public notifications, however, some limited pilot projects are active and more are being developed. The USGS has set the goal of beginning limited public notifications in 2018.

    Watch a video describing how ShakeAlert works in English or Spanish.

    The primary project partners include:

    United States Geological Survey
    California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES)
    California Geological Survey
    California Institute of Technology
    University of California Berkeley
    University of Washington
    University of Oregon
    Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

    The Earthquake Threat

    Earthquakes pose a national challenge because more than 143 million Americans live in areas of significant seismic risk across 39 states. Most of our Nation’s earthquake risk is concentrated on the West Coast of the United States. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has estimated the average annualized loss from earthquakes, nationwide, to be $5.3 billion, with 77 percent of that figure ($4.1 billion) coming from California, Washington, and Oregon, and 66 percent ($3.5 billion) from California alone. In the next 30 years, California has a 99.7 percent chance of a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake and the Pacific Northwest has a 10 percent chance of a magnitude 8 to 9 megathrust earthquake on the Cascadia subduction zone.

    Part of the Solution

    Today, the technology exists to detect earthquakes, so quickly, that an alert can reach some areas before strong shaking arrives. The purpose of the ShakeAlert system is to identify and characterize an earthquake a few seconds after it begins, calculate the likely intensity of ground shaking that will result, and deliver warnings to people and infrastructure in harm’s way. This can be done by detecting the first energy to radiate from an earthquake, the P-wave energy, which rarely causes damage. Using P-wave information, we first estimate the location and the magnitude of the earthquake. Then, the anticipated ground shaking across the region to be affected is estimated and a warning is provided to local populations. The method can provide warning before the S-wave arrives, bringing the strong shaking that usually causes most of the damage.

    Studies of earthquake early warning methods in California have shown that the warning time would range from a few seconds to a few tens of seconds. ShakeAlert can give enough time to slow trains and taxiing planes, to prevent cars from entering bridges and tunnels, to move away from dangerous machines or chemicals in work environments and to take cover under a desk, or to automatically shut down and isolate industrial systems. Taking such actions before shaking starts can reduce damage and casualties during an earthquake. It can also prevent cascading failures in the aftermath of an event. For example, isolating utilities before shaking starts can reduce the number of fire initiations.

    System Goal

    The USGS will issue public warnings of potentially damaging earthquakes and provide warning parameter data to government agencies and private users on a region-by-region basis, as soon as the ShakeAlert system, its products, and its parametric data meet minimum quality and reliability standards in those geographic regions. The USGS has set the goal of beginning limited public notifications in 2018. Product availability will expand geographically via ANSS regional seismic networks, such that ShakeAlert products and warnings become available for all regions with dense seismic instrumentation.

    Current Status

    The West Coast ShakeAlert system is being developed by expanding and upgrading the infrastructure of regional seismic networks that are part of the Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS); the California Integrated Seismic Network (CISN) is made up of the Southern California Seismic Network, SCSN) and the Northern California Seismic System, NCSS and the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN). This enables the USGS and ANSS to leverage their substantial investment in sensor networks, data telemetry systems, data processing centers, and software for earthquake monitoring activities residing in these network centers. The ShakeAlert system has been sending live alerts to “beta” users in California since January of 2012 and in the Pacific Northwest since February of 2015.

    In February of 2016 the USGS, along with its partners, rolled-out the next-generation ShakeAlert early warning test system in California joined by Oregon and Washington in April 2017. This West Coast-wide “production prototype” has been designed for redundant, reliable operations. The system includes geographically distributed servers, and allows for automatic fail-over if connection is lost.

    This next-generation system will not yet support public warnings but does allow selected early adopters to develop and deploy pilot implementations that take protective actions triggered by the ShakeAlert notifications in areas with sufficient sensor coverage.

    Authorities

    The USGS will develop and operate the ShakeAlert system, and issue public notifications under collaborative authorities with FEMA, as part of the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program, as enacted by the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977, 42 U.S.C. §§ 7704 SEC. 2.

    For More Information

    Robert de Groot, ShakeAlert National Coordinator for Communication, Education, and Outreach
    rdegroot@usgs.gov
    626-583-7225

    Learn more about EEW Research

    ShakeAlert Fact Sheet

    ShakeAlert Implementation Plan

    QuakeAlertUSA

    1

    About Early Warning Labs, LLC

    Early Warning Labs, LLC (EWL) is an Earthquake Early Warning technology developer and integrator located in Santa Monica, CA. EWL is partnered with industry leading GIS provider ESRI, Inc. and is collaborating with the US Government and university partners.

    EWL is investing millions of dollars over the next 36 months to complete the final integration and delivery of Earthquake Early Warning to individual consumers, government entities, and commercial users.

    EWL’s mission is to improve, expand, and lower the costs of the existing earthquake early warning systems.

    EWL is developing a robust cloud server environment to handle low-cost mass distribution of these warnings. In addition, Early Warning Labs is researching and developing automated response standards and systems that allow public and private users to take pre-defined automated actions to protect lives and assets.

    EWL has an existing beta R&D test system installed at one of the largest studios in Southern California. The goal of this system is to stress test EWL’s hardware, software, and alert signals while improving latency and reliability.

    Earthquake Early Warning Introduction

    The United States Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with state agencies, university partners, and private industry, is developing an earthquake early warning system (EEW) for the West Coast of the United States called ShakeAlert. The USGS Earthquake Hazards Program aims to mitigate earthquake losses in the United States. Citizens, first responders, and engineers rely on the USGS for accurate and timely information about where earthquakes occur, the ground shaking intensity in different locations, and the likelihood is of future significant ground shaking.

    The ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning System recently entered its first phase of operations. The USGS working in partnership with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is now allowing for the testing of public alerting via apps, Wireless Emergency Alerts, and by other means throughout California.

    ShakeAlert partners in Oregon and Washington are working with the USGS to test public alerting in those states sometime in 2020.

    ShakeAlert has demonstrated the feasibility of earthquake early warning, from event detection to producing USGS issued ShakeAlerts ® and will continue to undergo testing and will improve over time. In particular, robust and reliable alert delivery pathways for automated actions are currently being developed and implemented by private industry partners for use in California, Oregon, and Washington.

    Earthquake Early Warning Background

    The objective of an earthquake early warning system is to rapidly detect the initiation of an earthquake, estimate the level of ground shaking intensity to be expected, and issue a warning before significant ground shaking starts. A network of seismic sensors detects the first energy to radiate from an earthquake, the P-wave energy, and the location and the magnitude of the earthquake is rapidly determined. Then, the anticipated ground shaking across the region to be affected is estimated. The system can provide warning before the S-wave arrives, which brings the strong shaking that usually causes most of the damage. Warnings will be distributed to local and state public emergency response officials, critical infrastructure, private businesses, and the public. EEW systems have been successfully implemented in Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, and other nations with varying degrees of sophistication and coverage.

    Earthquake early warning can provide enough time to:

    Instruct students and employees to take a protective action such as Drop, Cover, and Hold On
    Initiate mass notification procedures
    Open fire-house doors and notify local first responders
    Slow and stop trains and taxiing planes
    Install measures to prevent/limit additional cars from going on bridges, entering tunnels, and being on freeway overpasses before the shaking starts
    Move people away from dangerous machines or chemicals in work environments
    Shut down gas lines, water treatment plants, or nuclear reactors
    Automatically shut down and isolate industrial systems

    However, earthquake warning notifications must be transmitted without requiring human review and response action must be automated, as the total warning times are short depending on geographic distance and varying soil densities from the epicenter.

    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    See the full article here.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Tohoku University (東北大学] , located in Sendai, Miyagi in the Tōhoku Region, Japan, is a Japanese national university. It was the third Imperial University in Japan, the top three Designated National University along with the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University and selected as a Top Type university of Top Global University Project by the Japanese government. In 2020, the Times Higher Education ranked Tohoku University the top university in Japan.

    In 2016, Tohoku University had 10 faculties, 16 graduate schools and 6 research institutes, with a total enrollment of 17,885 students. The university’s three core values are “Research First (研究第一主義),” “Open-Doors (門戸開放),” and “Practice-Oriented Research and Education (実学尊重).”

     
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