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  • richardmitnick 4:42 pm on June 25, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "La Crucecita earthquake illustrates quake risk in México", , , , , QCN and ShakeAlert,   

    From temblor: “La Crucecita earthquake illustrates quake risk in México” 

    1

    From temblor

    June 25, 2020
    By Aaron A. Velasco, University of Texas at El Paso, Xyoli Pérez-Campos, Servicio Sismológico Nacional (SSN), Instituto de Geofísica, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Allen Husker, Department of Geophysics, Instituto de Geofísica, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Marianne S. Karplus, University of Texas at El Paso, Hector Gonzalez-Huizar, Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada, Baja California, Solymar Ayala Cortez, University of Texas at El Paso.

    On June 23, 2010 at about 10:30 am local time, a large magnitude-7.4 earthquake struck the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, México, as reported by the Servicio Sismológico Nacional (SSN), UNAM, the national seismic authority in México. Strong shaking reached nearby cities, such as La Crucecita, Juchitán, El Espinal and Asunción Ixtaltepec — cities that remained heavily damaged from the magnitude-8.2 Tehuantepec quake in 2017.

    1
    Cracks in the sand on a beach near La Crucecita taken two hours after the earthquake. A laguna is to the left in the photo and the ocean to the right. The cracks outline the laguna and result from infiltration of water from the laguna due to the earthquake. Credit: Ericka Alinne Solano

    Tuesday’s earthquake triggered the early warning system in México City, over 500 km away from the epicenter. Residents received an earthquake alert almost two minutes prior to the arrival of the seismic waves that shook buildings throughout the city. In the state of Oaxaca, at least six people were killed by the earthquake. Seven hospitals were damaged in different towns and in some of these, patients were evacuated. Reports of a small tsunami have been confirmed and initial estimates show that the nearby coast was uplifted about 1.6 feet (0.5 meters). In the 12 hours following the earthquake, the SSN had reported more than 1200 aftershocks, the largest — with a magnitude of 5.5 — occurred about 11 hours after the mainshock.

    2
    Map showing the epicenter of Tuesday’s La Crucecita earthquake from the Servicio Sismológico Nacional (SSN), and two other major earthquakes in the region. The Middle American Trench and the Tehuantepec Ridge are significant ocean floor features.

    Tectonic plate boundaries produce big earthquakes

    In this region, the Cocos Plate subducts beneath the North American Plate, creating a seismic and volcanic belt along the Pacific coast of Mexico. Tuesday’s earthquake occurred near this interface along the tectonic plate boundary known as the Middle American Trench, just offshore at a shallow depth 13.7 miles (22.6 kilometers) according to SSN. Preliminary estimates by the SSN and the United States Geological Survey show the earthquake occurred on a thrust fault oriented west-northwest, which is consistent with motion along this plate boundary interface.

    A complex plate boundary

    A number of factors contribute to the complex seismicity observed in this region. The Tehuantepec ridge, a remnant fracture zone related to the East Pacific spreading center, is being actively subducted beneath the North American Plate about 71.5 miles (115 kilometers) from Tuesday’s epicenter. This bathymetric high may play a role in the tectonic complexities of the region, as nearby the angle of subduction of the Cocos plate changes from shallow in the northwest to steep in the southeast.

    Studies in the region show that slow-slip events — where an earthquake’s worth of energy and fault slip is released over a period of weeks to months — and weak vibration of the Earth’s crust occur along parts of this subduction zone. Seismologists are still trying to figure out whether these slow slip events could trigger large earthquakes.

    Distant earthquakes cause shaking in Mexico City

    Near the epicenter of a large earthquake, the shaking can be very strong, generating significant damage, as was observed in La Crucecita and other cities closest to the epicenter. Generally, seismic waves decrease in amplitude with distance from an earthquake epicenter and shaking diminishes. However, the soft sediments that comprise the México City basin act to slow and amplify these incoming waves. This, and the long duration of shaking created by distant but strong surface waves, can cause significant shaking in México City.

    This earthquake was felt strongly in México City but fortunately, did not result in significant damage. The city has not been so lucky in the past and has suffered damage from distant earthquakes such as the 1985 magnitude-8.1 earthquake and the Morelos-Puebla magnitude-7.1 earthquake in 2017, 400 km and 50 km away from city center, respectively.

    2017 Tehuantepec earthquake

    On September 7, 2017, the magnitude-8.2 Tehuantepec earthquake struck offshore, around 125 miles (200 kilometers) southeast of the Tuesday’s epicenter. Unlike the thrust motion observed in this quake, the Tehuantepec earthquake ruptured the downgoing Cocos plate along a high-angle normal fault at ~28 miles (~45 kilometers) depth. The rupture propagated northwest at a relatively high velocity 2.1-2.24 miles per second (3.4-3.6 kilometers per second). Normal faults generally accommodate tensional force in Earth’s crust, rather than the compressional force expected when two tectonic plates are being pushed together in a subduction zone.

    Aftershocks from a large earthquake usually outline the section of the main fault that ruptured because stress changes related to the main shock are often strongest closest to the area of the fault that ruptured. These stress changes cause a trickle of aftershocks in this area following a quake. The complexity of the Tehuantepec earthquake rupture is highlighted by the aftershock locations.

    3
    Epicenters from the SSN catalog are plotted for September to October 2017, highlighting seismicity immediately following the Tehuantepec earthquake. The different colors represent different depths of the earthquakes. Aftershocks were generally shallow closer to the main shock location and deeper inland, following the subduction interface. However, north of the Tehuantepec ridge a region of shallow inland aftershocks shows that there is additional complexity in the faults beneath the surface.

    The La Crucecita earthquake occurred adjacent to the shallow, northern aftershocks of the Tehuantepec earthquake. This quake extends the seismically active region along the plate interface evident in the aftershocks from the Tehuantepec quake.

    If the two earthquakes are related, the exact triggering mechanism must be further investigated, as earthquakes can be linked through the type of stresses that they create. For example, permanent deformation created by movement along a fault can increase or decrease stresses on adjacent faults, affecting the likelihood of future earthquakes. This stress usually diminishes within two fault lengths of a rupture. The Tehuantepec earthquake rupture length was approximately 75-125 miles (~120-200 kilometers), which could increase stress within about 250 miles (400 kilometers) of the epicenter. Preliminary analysis of the stress generated during the Tehuantepec earthquake shows an increase in the surrounding regions, including near the epicenter of the June 23 earthquake.

    4
    Preliminary stress calculations from movement of the fault that ruptured during the Tehuantepec earthquake. The increase in stress in the region around the La Crucecita earthquake could have triggered this earthquake.

    Further Reading

    Husker, A., Frank, W. B., Gonzalez, G., Avila, L., Kostoglodov, V., & Kazachkina, E. (2019). Characteristic Tectonic Tremor Activity Observed Over Multiple Slow Slip Cycles in the Mexican Subduction Zone. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 124(1), 599–608. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018JB016517

    Manzo, D. (2020), La Jornada, accessed 23 June 2020, https://www.jornada.com.mx/ultimas/politica/2020/06/23/sismo-de-7-5-deja-cinco-muertos-y-danos-a-viviendas-en-oaxaca-2101.html

    Gonzalez-Huizar, H. (2019) La Olimpiada XXIV de Ciencias de la Tierra: Los Grandes Terremotos de México, GEOS, 39(1).

    Perez-Campos, X., & Clayton, R. W. (2014). Interaction of Cocos and Rivera plates with the upper-mantle transition zone underneath central México. Geophysical Journal International, 197(3), 1763–1769. https://doi.org/10.1093/gji/ggu087

    Suárez, G., Santoyo, M. A., Hjorleifsdottir, V., Iglesias, A., Villafuerte, C., & Cruz-Atienza, V. M. (2019). Large scale lithospheric detachment of the downgoing Cocos plate: The 8 September 2017 earthquake (M 8.2). Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 509, 9–14. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2018.12.018

    SSN (2020). Reporte especial: Sismo del 23 de junio de 2020, costa de Oaxaca (M 7.5). Servicio Sismológico Nacional, Instituto de Geofísica, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México. URL: http://www.ssn.unam.mx

    Toda, S., & Stein, R. S. (2015). 2014 M w 6.0 South Napa Earthquake Triggered Exotic Seismic Clusters near Several Major Faults. Seismological Research Letters, 86(6), 1593–1602. https://doi.org/10.1785/0220150102

    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 project

    Earthquake 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
    1

    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

     
  • richardmitnick 9:46 am on June 21, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Machine learning helped demystify a California earthquake swarm", , , , , QCN and ShakeAlert,   

    From Science News: “Machine learning helped demystify a California earthquake swarm” 

    From Science News

    June 18, 2020
    Carolyn Gramling

    New data show the spread of the tiny quakes through complex fault networks over time.

    1
    By training computers to identify tiny earthquake signals recorded by seismographs, scientists found that circulating groundwater probably triggered a four-year-long earthquake swarm in Southern California.Credit: Furchin/E+/Getty Images

    Circulating groundwater triggered a four-year-long swarm of tiny earthquakes that rumbled beneath the Southern California town of Cahuilla, researchers report in the June 19 Science. By training computers to recognize such faint rumbles, the scientists were able not only to identify the probable culprit behind the quakes, but also to track how such mysterious swarms can spread through complex fault networks in space and time.

    Seismic signals are constantly being recorded in tectonically active Southern California, says seismologist Zachary Ross of Caltech. Using that rich database, Ross and colleagues have been training computers to distinguish the telltale ground movements of minute earthquakes from other things that gently shake the ground, such as construction reverberations or distant rumbles of the ocean (SN: 4/18/19). The millions of tiny quakes revealed by this machine learning technique, he says, can be used to create high-resolution, 3-D images of what lies beneath the ground’s surface in a particular region.

    In 2017, the researchers noted an uptick in tiny quake activity in the Cahuilla region that had, at that point, been going on for about a year. Most of the quakes were far too small to be felt but were detectable by the sensors. Over the next few years, the team used their computer algorithm to identify 22,000 such quakes from early 2016 to late 2019, ranging in magnitude from 0.7 to 4.4.

    Such a cluster of small quakes, with no standout, large mainshock, is called a swarm. “Swarms are different from a standard mainshock-aftershock sequence,” which are typically linked to the transfer of stress from fault to fault in the subsurface, Ross says. The leading candidates for swarm triggering come down to groundwater circulation or a kind of slow slippage on an active fault, known as fault creep.

    “Swarms have been somewhat enigmatic for quite a while,” says David Shelly, a U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist based in Golden, Colo., who was not connected with the study. They are particularly common in volcanic and hydrothermal areas, he says, “and so sometimes, it’s a bit harder to interpret the ones that aren’t in those types of areas,” like the Cahuilla swarm (SN: 5/14/20).

    “This one is particularly cool, because it’s [a] rare, slow-motion swarm,” Shelly adds. “Most might last a few days, weeks or months. This one lasted four years. Having it spread out in time like that gives a little more opportunity to examine some of the nuances of what’s going on.”

    Data from the Cahuilla swarm, which is winding down but “not quite over,” Ross says, revealed not only the complex network of faults beneath the surface, but also the evolution of the fault zone over time. “You can see that the sequence [of earthquakes] originated from a region that’s only on the order of tens of meters wide,” Ross says. But over the next four years, he adds, that region grew, creating an expanding front of earthquake epicenters that spread out at a rate of about 5 meters per day, until it became about 30 times the size of the original zone.

    That diffusive spread, Ross says, suggests that moving groundwater is triggering the swarm. Although the team didn’t directly observe fluids moving underground, the scientists speculate that beneath the fault zone lies a reservoir of groundwater that previously had been sealed off from the zone. At some point, that seal broke, and the groundwater was able to seep into one of the faults, triggering the first quakes. From there, it moved through the fault system over the next few years, triggering more quakes in its wake. Eventually, the seeping groundwater probably ran up against an impermeable barrier, which is bringing the swarm to a gradual halt.

    Being able to identify what causes such mysterious events is extremely important when it comes to communicating with people about earthquake hazards, Ross says. “Typically, we have very limited explanations that we can provide to the public on what’s happening,” he says. “It gives us something that we can explain in concrete terms.”

    And this discovery, he adds, “gives me a lot of confidence” to continue to apply this technique, such as on the last 40 years of amassed seismic data in Southern California, which likely contains many more previously undetected swarms.

    The study highlights how seismologists are increasingly acknowledging the importance of fluids in the crust, Shelly says. And, he adds, it emphasizes how having so many tiny quakes can illuminate the hidden world of the subsurface. “It’s kind of like having a special telescope to look down into the crust,” he adds. Combining this wealth of seismic data with machine learning is “the future of earthquake analysis.”

    ______________________________________________

    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

    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 9:38 am on June 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Magnitude-5.9 quake strikes the eastern end of the North Anatolian Fault", , , , QCN and ShakeAlert,   

    From temblor: “Magnitude-5.9 quake strikes the eastern end of the North Anatolian Fault” 

    1

    From temblor

    June 18, 2020
    Haluk Eyidoğan, Ph.D., Professor of Seismology, Istanbul Technical University

    A moderate earthquake struck the Bingöl province in eastern Turkey on Sunday. The quake occurred at the intersection between two major faults in the region along a right-lateral strand of the North Anatolian Fault.

    On June 14, 2020 (14:26 UTC) in the province of Bingöl in eastern Turkey, near Kaynarpinar village (39.3495 N, 40.7350 E), a strong earthquake occurred. According to Turkish authorities, the shallow — 3.1 mile (5 kilometer) — deep quake registered as a magnitude-5.8. The European Mediterranean Seismic Centre (EMSC) reports it as a magnitude-5.9.

    1
    The location of the 14 June 2020 earthquake and other notable quakes in the region.

    The number of buildings damaged in the quake is not currently known, but there are reports of significant damage to mudbrick masonry structures and also to a small number of reinforced concrete structures. Official statements report at least one fatality and several people injured.

    Junction of the North Anatolian and East Anatolian Faults

    The earthquake ocurred where the North Anatolian Fault and the East Anatolian Fault meet. This junction exhibits a rather complicated network of faults of different length that cross one another. Depending on the orientation and magnitude of stress imparted by this earthquake on the faults in the region, I expect that aftershock activity may be prolonged.

    Elmali Fault a likely source

    The earthquake seems to have struck on the right-lateral strike-slip Elmalı Fault, a 27-kilometer-long branch of the North Anatolian Fault, based on the latest official active fault map in Turkey. Slip on this fault caused a magnitude-6.9 earthquake on August 17, 1949. Regions of high damage correlate to the location of the Elmalı Fault, further suggesting this is the structure that ruptured. The locations of large and moderate magnitude earthquakes are often revised by scientists after review of available data. After the location of this earthquake is revised and finalized, the quake’s relationship with the 40-kilometer-long Kargıpazar Fault, parallel to the Elmalı Fault, will be better understood.

    1:1 250 000 Scale Active Fault Map Of Turkey

    This map is a guide document which shows the geographic distribution and general characteristics of the active faults of the Turkish mainland. It provides active fault information at a 1:1,250,000 scale for the country. It is published with accompanying explanatory textbook. It does not provide all data to be used in analytical assessments and applications. Click for the larger map view.

    Cite this map as follows:

    Emre, Ö., Duman, T.Y., Özalp, S., Elmacı, H., Olgun, Ş. and Şaroğlu, F., 2013. Active Fault Map of Turkey with and Explanatory Text. General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration, Special Publication Series-30. Ankara-Turkey

    1

    After 250 years of quiet, is the Yedisu Fault now in play?

    The epicenter of the earthquake is located near the eastern end of the Yedisu Fault, one of the important segments of the North Anatolian Fault. The Yedisu Fault has not generated a strong earthquake in the last 250 years — since 1874, when a magnitude-5.8 quake struck — according to current records. Given the location of this week’s earthquake and the orientation of the fault that likely ruptured, I recommend calculating how much stress the 1874 earthquake — with a right strike-slip fault mechanism — loaded on Yedisu Fault. This analysis may inform futures estimates of earthquake hazard in the region.

    Further Reading

    Active Faults of Turkey, General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration (MTA), Ankara, Turkey.
    Duman, T.Y. & Emre, Ö., 2013. The East Anatolian Fault: geometry, segmentation and jog characteristics Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 372, 495-529.

    Eyidoğan, H., U. Güçlü, Z. Utku & E. Değirmenci, 1991. Türkiye büyük depremleri makro-sismik rehberi (1900-1988), İstanbul Teknik Üniversitesi, İstanbul, 199 pages.

    http://www.koeri.boun.edu.tr/sismo/2/latest-earthquakes/list-of-latest-events/

    https://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=867603#summary

    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 project

    Earthquake 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
    1

    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

     
  • richardmitnick 1:38 pm on February 25, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , QCN and ShakeAlert,   

    From popsci.com: “Extreme Science: The San Andreas Fault” 2015 but important 

    popsci-bloc

    Popular Science

    August 19, 2015 [Just found this in social media.]
    Mary Beth Griggs

    1
    How California is predicting and preparing for the inevitable. No image credit.

    There’s a crack in California. It stretches for 800 miles, from the Salton Sea in the south, to Cape Mendocino in the north. It runs through vineyards and subway stations, power lines and water mains. Millions live and work alongside the crack, many passing over it (966 roads cross the line) every day. For most, it warrants hardly a thought. Yet in an instant, that crack, the San Andreas fault line, could ruin lives and cripple the national economy.

    In one scenario produced by the United States Geological Survey, researchers found that a big quake along the San Andreas could kill 1,800 people, injure 55,000 and wreak $200 million in damage. It could take years, nearly a decade, for California to recover.

    On the bright side, during the process of building and maintaining all that infrastructure that crosses the fault, geologists have gotten an up-close and personal look at it over the past several decades, contributing to a growing and extensive body of work. While the future remains uncertain (no one can predict when an earthquake will strike) people living near the fault are better prepared than they have ever been before.

    The Trouble With Faults

    All of the land on Earth, including the ocean floors, is divided into relatively thin, brittle segments of rock that float on top of a much thicker layer of softer rock called the mantle. The largest of these segments are called tectonic plates, and roughly correspond with the continents and subcontinents of the earth.

    The San Andreas fault is a boundary between two of these tectonic plates. In California, along the fault, the two plates–the Pacific plate and the North American plate–are rubbing past each other, like you might slip by someone in a crowded room. The Pacific plate is moving generally northwest, headed towards Alaska and Japan, while the North American plate heads southwest.

    In a simplified, ideal world, this movement would happen easily and smoothly. Because it covers such a large area, not all of the fault moves at the same time. In the middle, things are moving rather smoothly, with part of the Pacific plate gliding by the North American plate with relative ease, a segment that scientists say is ‘creeping’.

    It’s at the northern and southern extremes where things get tricky. The real problems begin when the plates get stuck, or wedged together.

    Visions Of A Disaster

    The fear of a huge earthquake from the San Andreas devastating the west coast has been rich fodder for disaster films, including Superman and, more recently, San Andreas. The good news is that the worst-case scenarios in those films are completely impossible. California will not sink into the sea, and even the largest possible earthquake is short of anything that the Rock had to wrestle with.

    But disasters have happened.

    In 1906, the northern segment of the fault, near the city of San Francisco, ruptured along nearly 300 miles, causing a huge earthquake that led to fires, downed buildings, and thousands of casualties. The death toll was between 700 and 2,800.

    Meanwhile, other segments of the fault, like one south of Los Angeles that hasn’t seen a large earthquake since 1690, are considered stalled. Centuries of energy are built up and ready to be released. When? Nobody knows.

    Recent analyses suggest that in a worst-case scenario, the San Andreas would beget an earthquake ranking an 8.3 on the Richter scale, a logarithmic scale on which a 6.0 is ten times as powerful as a 5.0, a 7.0 ten times as powerful as a 6.0, and so forth. To put that in context, earthquakes under 2.5 are rarely felt. Earthquakes under 6.0 can cause some damage to buildings, but aren’t major events. Above that level things start to get interesting. The largest recorded quake in the United States was a 9.2 earthquake that hit Alaska in 1964.

    “That would require the San Andreas to rupture wall to wall from its southern extremis to up to Cape Mendocino,” says Tom Jordan, the director of the Southern California Earthquake Center at The University of Southern California,. He explains that the creeping segment in the middle acts as a buffer, making the 8.3-magnitude earthquake much less plausible than some other options.

    Even if the 8.3 earthquake never materializes, scientists worry that a rupture along the long-inactive southern segment could be devastating, compounded by the large population in the area. The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that shook San Francisco was only a 6.9, but it caused billions of dollars in damage injured over 3,000 people, and killed 63.

    “The San Andreas lies close to the coastline where people live,” Jordan says. The valleys along the coast that proved so enticing to the settlers who founded cities like Los Angeles are large areas of sedimentary rock that could be hugely problematic in an earthquake.

    “Even though L.A. is 30 miles from the San Andreas, it can still get very strong ground motion,” Jordan says. “The sediments shake like bowls of jelly.”

    But even just a medium-bad scenario could be enough to kill hundreds and ruin the economy.

    Researchers like Jordan are building up huge, incredibly detailed 3D maps of the geology near the San Andreas fault. These maps can be used to generate detailed assessments for almost any possible earthquake scenario that might happen along the fault.

    In 2008, United States Geological Survey scientist Lucy Jones and colleagues published the ShakeOut scenario, a detailed report that looked at what could happen if a large (magnitude 7.8) earthquake occurred along the southern leg of the fault.

    2
    Simulated magnitude-8.0 earthquake.

    Just like the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, people living in the area would be without power and water for interminable lengths of time, and in the immediate aftermath, firefighters would not have access to water to fight the fires that would spring up in the wake of the disaster. And in California’s current drought, the fires after the earthquake could prove more devastating than the shaking itself.

    Dodging A Bullet

    Scientists may not be able to predict where and when a strike will hit, but the more they understand what could happen, the more they can help plan for any event. Last winter, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a plan called Resilience By Design, that tries to address the huge risk facing the city if there was an earthquake along the San Andreas.

    “It is highly unlikely we’ll make a century [without a large earthquake]” said Jones, who also headed up the Resilience by Design group. Reinforcing the city’s lifelines, like roads and utilities, is a huge priority.

    Fortunately, California has a precedent to the north.

    In 2002, the Denali fault in Alaska slipped and caused an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.9, the largest inland earthquake recorded in the country in 150 years. And running right across that fault was the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, an 800-mile long piece of infrastructure that carries 550,000 barrels of crude across near-pristine tundra every day.

    “It was the biggest ecological disaster that never happened.” Jones said.

    The pipeline was built to accommodate the movement of the earth, so that even though the earth slid by up to 18 feet in the 2002 earthquake, the pipeline didn’t break, averting a serious oil spill. To avoid rupturing, the engineers designed the above-ground portion of the pipeline in an intentional zig-zag pattern instead of a straight line, giving the pipeline flexibility. The pipeline itself can also slide. Instead of being anchored in the permafrost, part of the pipeline sit on Teflon-coated ‘shoes’ which rest on huge steel beams that sit perpendicular to the pipeline. In the event of shaking, segments of the pipe can slide on the beams like train cars on rails, without breaking.

    4
    Denali Pipeline. The zig-zag pattern allows it to flex and move without breaking.

    The Next Quake

    In California, water pipes and electrical lines could be built or retrofitted with similar flexibility. Researchers are even working on building earthquake-resistant houses that can slide back and forth on instead of crumbling. Unlike traditional homes, which sit on a foundation, these earthquake-resistant homes sit on sliders made out of steel, that, just like the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, can slide over the shaking ground instead of breaking.

    The internet of everything has a role to play here too. In the future, networks of devices scattered across the southern California landscape could monitor an earthquake as it starts. This seismic network could send out an alert as the earthquake propagates through the earth, giving utilities precious seconds of warning to shut off valves in pipes along the fault, shut off power to prevent damage, and even send an alert to operating rooms, allowing a surgeon to remove her scalpel from a patient before the shaking even begins.

    Scientists already have a seismic network in California, but more seismic sensors and technical development are needed to get the fledgling network to the next level. Unfortunately, those developments require money, and getting enough funding to build the next system has been elusive.

    The cost for a truly robust alert system is estimated at $80 million for California alone, and $120 million for the whole West Coast. But funding is sparse. Earlier this year, President Obama pledged $5 million. The first sensors are already being used by San Francisco’s mass transit system to slow down trains in the event of an earthquake.

    To see what the future of California might look like, one only has to glance west towards Japan, where even their fastest trains come to a halt at the first sign of an earthquake, elevators allow people to disembark, and people get warnings on radio, TV, and cell phones.

    Similar techniques could be employed near Los Angeles, Jones says, making the city ready to bounce back from even the worst earthquake that the San Andreas can throw at the city.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that “we learn geology the morning after the earthquake.” Fortunately for Los Angeles, plenty of people, from geologists to city and emergency planners, have no intention of waiting that long.

    California Earthquakes Since 1900

    Earthquakes in California cluster along its fault lines. Here are the epicenters of the state’s strongest 20th-century quakes. Even though truly massive quakes on the San Andreas are rare, it’s still a very active line, with many dots appearing along its length.

    Earthquakes in California cluster along its fault lines. Here are the epicenters of the state’s strongest 20th-century quakes. Even though truly massive quakes on the San Andreas are rare, it’s still a very active line, with many dots appearing along its length.

    The animation includes all California earthquakes between January 1900 and July 2015 with magnitude 4.2 or greater. The circle size represents earthquake magnitude while color represents date, with the earliest quakes in yellow and the most recent in red. The San Andreas appears as a red line running down the left side of the state. Better seismic sensors detect weaker earthquakes, so milder quakes don’t appear in the early years of the animation.

    5

    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

    1

    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

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

     
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