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  • richardmitnick 2:02 pm on January 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Seismic swarm hits Hayward Fault: What does it portend?, Shake Alert System,   

    From temblor: “Seismic swarm hits Hayward Fault: What does it portend?” 

    1

    From temblor

    January 17, 2019
    Jason Patton, Ph.D.

    The San Francisco Bay area is earthquake country. Historic and prehistoric evidence for earthquakes here informs us about the possibility of future shakers. On the Hayward Fault, we have an idea about their upper limit on size, but we don’t know when they will occur. The swarm in progress, with an M=3.4 quake on January 16 and today’s M=3.5 quake near Piedmont and Berkeley, are but one way to peer into an uncertain future. Ultimately, they remind us to be prepared to confront potential disaster.

    Earthquake swarm highlights our earthquake history and our earthquake future

    People in northern California have been in the midst of an earthquake swarm along the Hayward fault. Over 6,000 people reported observations of an M=3.4 quake and so far, over 4,000 have reported to the USGS “Did You Feel It?” website for the M=3.5 morning quake today.

    One may think that these quakes are small, so why do they matter? Why should I care?

    Prior to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the 1868 event was called the Great San Francisco Earthquake as the damage was widespread across the entire region. According to the USGS, the Hayward fault has the highest chance of rupture for all faults in the bay area, which is why Temblor’s Earthquake Scores for homes near the fault are among the highest anywhere in the U.S.

    The USGS, California Geological Survey, and other stakeholders like the California Earthquake Authority (earthquake insurance) have teamed up to help people learn about a probable repeat of the 1868 earthquake. Learn more about the “HayWired Scenario” on this website.

    Below is a map that shows how the shaking intensity may be across the region in a scenario M=7 quake, similar to the 1868 event. (Hudnut et al., 2018).

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    Shaking severity from an hypothetical earthquake on the Hayward fault.

    Last year there was an M=4.4 earthquake in the Piedmont area, which is pretty close to the swarm of quakes that hit in the past 2 days, although unlike today’s quake, it was not on the main strand of the Hayward Fault. Along the Hayward fault, sometimes there is a series of earthquakes that all have similar magnitudes (a swarm) and sometimes there is an earthquake that is larger than the others (a sequence). According to Dr. Peggy Hellweg, Project Manager for the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory seismic network, “typically what we see on the Hayward fault are sequences” and that there is a sequence about every 2 to 5 years, over the past 20 years. Here is a blog post from the Berkeley Seismo Blog for a quake in 2017.

    Sadly, the USGS cannot respond to press inquiries due to the U.S. Government shutdown. However, we can use the USGS earthquake catalog to learn about the recent history of earthquakes along the Hayward fault (see map below). Within 2 km (1.2 mi) of the fault trace, on average, there are quakes a little less than once a year. Quakes right in the Hayward Fault trace are rarer, they strike about once every 3 years. One sees no obvious migration of these quakes with time, which makes it impossible to identify if the fault is getting ready for a “Big One.”
    3
    Hayward fault earthquake locations since 1985.

    For now, we don’t’ know if this swarm will lead to larger magnitude earthquakes. However, we do know that as time passes, the fault gradually stores more elastic energy and this leads to an increased chance of an earthquake.

    There is lots much we can learn about what happened in past earthquakes so we can prepare for future earthquakes. We recently reviewed what we learned over the past 25 since the 1994 M=6.7 Northridge earthquake here. Note the similar earthquake magnitude for the Hayward and Northridge earthquakes.

    The Hayward Fault is HayWired

    The Hayward Fault is unusual. Part of the Hayward fault is creeping aseismically (moving side by side without earthquakes) and part of the fault is locked (clamped together, storing energy that may be released during an earthquake). As the fault creeps, this places additional stress on the adjacent portions of the fault that are locked. The same is true for small earthquakes like the ongoing swarm, they add stress to the fault. A 100-km-long (60 mi) portion of the San Andreas also creeps, but the rest is locked. What makes the Hayward unique is that it exhibits both behaviors everywhere.

    Scientists have been studying how the fault stores this energy over time (e.g. Shirzaei et al., 2013), using satellite data and physical measurements of plate motion in the region. Shirzaei et al. (2013) found that both creep and these small earthquakes add to the stress on the fault and bring us closer to an earthquake.

    “We estimate that a slip-rate deficit equivalent to Mw 6.3–6.8 has accumulated on the fault, since the last event in 1868.” (Shirzaei and R. Bürgmann, 2013).

    Below is an updated plot provided by Dr. Roland Bürgmann, Professor of Earth and Planetary Science at U.C. Berkeley. This figure shows the fault surface at depth and the color represents how much of the fault is creeping (red = more creep). Drs. Bürgmann and Shirzaei have plotted the earthquake locations from the past decade or so, including from the current swarm.

    4

    Dr. Bürgmann wrote us this morning, “I’d like to point out that it was last year’s M=4.4 quake that made me sign up for earthquake insurance.”

    Ground Shaking, Building Collapse, Landslides, Liquefaction

    This is a short laundry list of potential damage that will probably face northern California residents during and following a future Hayward fault earthquake.

    Conclusions from the USGS HayWired Earthquake Scenario are sobering, however we can take action now to be more resilient in the face of this natural disaster.

    The mainshock will be damaging, but so will be the aftershocks. Building damage may exceed $82 billion (in 2016 dollars). As many as 152,000 households may be displaced, placing as many as 411,000 people on the streets (2000 census data). There may be 800 deaths and over 18,000 injuries. As many as 2,500 people may be trapped in buildings and more than 22,000 people could be stuck in elevators.

    As we mentioned in a report on the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta about potential levee failures, there may also be substantial damage to the water supply infrastructure as well. It may take as long as 30 to 210 days to restore water supplies for some of the counties in the bay area. Fires can be expected following a HayWired Scenario event. There may be over 400 fires, causing hundreds of additional deaths and contributing to an additional $30 billion in damages.

    There is a suite of natural hazards information available on the temblor app to help one learn the extent to which people are exposed to these hazards. Below is a map that shows the potential for liquefaction in the region. Learn more about landslides and liquefaction in our report from earlier this year here.

    5
    Liquefaction susceptibility from earthquakes in the SF Bay Area. The red dot is the M=3.5 earthquake felt this morning.

    Do you know where your home or workplace fits in earthquake country? Are you prepared? Check Your Risk in the Temblor app here.

    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

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  • richardmitnick 10:41 am on January 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Shake Alert System, , the U.S. government shutdown, What if the Northridge earthquake had struck today   

    From temblor: “What if the Northridge earthquake had struck today, on its 25th anniversary, during the U.S. government shutdown?” 

    1

    From temblor

    January 16, 2019
    Jason Patton, Ph.D.

    Ross Stein, Ph.D., Volkan Sevilgen, M.Sc.

    Twenty-five years ago, the M=6.7 Northridge earthquake caused enormous damage in southern California. Today people are far less insured, and the best estimates suggest that we would take a major economic hit if one like it were to strike the Southland today. The government shutdown would only compound the problems.

    What if the Northridge Earthquake Happened Today?

    The M=6.7 earthquake struck on a ‘blind’ thrust fault (meaning that geologists were blind to its presence). There are other blind faults in southern California that pose an equal or greater hazard to the economy and well-being of Angelinos, and despite being associated with earthquakes up to M=7.3, blind thrusts are notoriously difficult to identify. Learn more about these faults here.

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    Sylmar Overpass damage from the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Credit: USGS Public Domain

    Dr. Patricia Grossi from RMS, Inc., concluded that if an M=6.7 Northridge earthquake struck in 2014, it would cause up to $155 billion in total economic losses, comparable to that for Hurricane Katrina, which cost the nation $148 billion. But the insured losses would amount to only $16-$24 billion, or 10-15% of the total.

    What about other quakes in the Southland?

    An earthquake on the Puente Hills blind thrust fault, which runs beneath much of the Los Angeles basin including downtown, could cause over $600 billion in economic damages (Larsen et al., 2015). A recent M=5.1 earthquake on 29 March 2014 highlighted the presence of the Puente Hills and other blind fault faults in southern California capable of producing damaging earthquakes.

    The 1933 M=6.4 Long Beach earthquake ruptured the Newport-Inglewood fault, killing 120 and causing widespread damage estimated to be between $40 and $50 million (1933 dollars; Swift et al., 2012). If the 1993 Long Beach earthquake were to recur, the losses could be between $131 and $781 million, depending upon the earthquake size (given analysis in 2006 using valuation estimates from 2002; Swift et al., 2012).

    Many are familiar with the hazards from an earthquake on the San Andreas fault. If not, check out the video series “The Whistle.” The U.S. Geological Survey prepared a study of the impacts of an earthquake on the southern San Andreas fault (Jones et al., 2008). Using a computer tool developed by FEMA, they estimate that there may be as many as 1800 deaths and $191 billion in damages (in 2008 dollars and level of infrastructural development; Porter et al., 2011).

    2
    A large earthquake on the Puente Hills Blind Thrust Fault would strongly shake the most densely part of the Southland. The color gradients give the size of an earthquake expected over the period of a human lifetime (Bird et al., 2013). So for greater Los Angeles, a M=6.5-7.0 is likely.

    Do you know what your losses to earthquake hazards would be? Check Your Risk in the Temblor app here.

    Below is a map showing historic earthquakes in southern California (Hauksson et al., 1995). The spatial extent of the aftershocks correlate roughly with damage.

    3
    Historic earthquakes in southern California (Hauksson et al., 1995).

    The partial shutdown could make things worse

    During the government shutdown, the USGS is operating with a skeletal crew just sufficient to monitor earthquakes in California and around the world. However, no routine maintenance of its seismic and geodetic stations is being conducted, no buildout of the partially-completed Earthquake Early Warning system is being undertaken, no research is conducted, no publications are produced, no research meetings are held, and there is a press blackout.

    In the event of a large California earthquake, the USGS has been granted authority by the Department of Interior to resume operations with as large a staff as needed to protect life and property, and to collect essential data.

    Forrest Lanning, Earthquake Program Manager for FEMA Region IX (southwest U.S.), explained that if there were a disaster, FEMA would be mobilized in accordance with their mandate to respond to requests of disaster declaration from the state. Mobilized FEMA personnel would be given authorization to be paid for overtime under the Stafford Act, but the work leading up to this overtime would not be covered unless congress provided authorization. The FEMA Watch Center is required to be in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Staff at the watch center keep their eyes on media and other sources to determine if events may impact Region IX. They work with the NOAA Pacific Tsunami Warning Center and the USGS to monitor these potential impacts.

    But what would happen if, instead, there were a swarm of small earthquakes on a major fault, as occurred at the southern tip of the San Andreas in September 2016, or near the Calaveras Fault in northern California in February 2018? In fact, today, there was a M=3.4 quake followed by several others on the Hayward Fault, which last ruptured in a M~7 shock in 1868. Because of widespread damage, the 1868 quake was known as the ‘Great San Francisco Quake’ until it was dethroned in 1906.

    3

    When a swarm culminating in a M=4.3 shock occurred in September 2016 at Bombay Beach near the southern end of the San Andreas, USGS calculations and consultations led the California Office of Emergency Services to issue a week-long ‘Earthquake Advisory’ for the entire Southland.

    Seismic swarms are simply unchartered shutdown territory.

    Rate of Insurance Coverage is Down

    In 1994, 34% of Californians carried earthquake insurance. Today this is down to about 10%. Why is this?
    Costs are up

    The Northridge quake caused about $40 billion in damage in 1994 dollars (Eguchi et al., 1998), which was an unprecedented loss to the insurance industry, leading to a complicated response, with many insurers refusing to offer homeowner’s policies if they had to offer quake.

    The California Earthquake Authority was set up by the state following Northridge, to help provide insurance when most carriers refused to do so. The CEA is a privately funded, but publicly managed, provider of residential earthquake insurance. But because of a reassessment of the risk, all earthquake insurance premiums, as well as deductibles, rose.

    Out of sight, out of mind

    The more time passes following an event, the more rapidly people stop considering the potential impact of such an event if it were to recur in the future. This is especially true for earthquakes.

    In 1989, the large Loma Prieta earthquake devastated the San Francisco Bay area. The entire country responded in this time of need and the visual evidence of the impact of this quake was broadcast globally. People were aware of their place in earthquake country and this may have contributed to the large proportion of people who had earthquake insurance when the Northridge quake hit.

    So, the take away from this is that, depending on the costs of repairing expected quake damage to your home, you should consider earthquake insurance and seismic retrofit. Without economic resilience, we may crumble under the load, as the column did in the following photo.

    4
    Building damage from 1994 Northridge earthquake, the parking structure at CSU Northridge. Credit: USGS public domain.

    References

    Bird, P., Jackson, D. D., Kagan, Y. Y., Kreemer, C., and Stein, R. S., 2015. GEAR1: A global earthquake activity rate model constructed from geodetic strain rates and smoothed seismicity, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., v. 105, no. 5, p. 2538–2554, DOI: 10.1785/0120150058

    Eguchi, R.T., Goltz, J.D., Taylor, C.E., Chang, S.E., Flores, P.J., Johnson, L.A., Seligson, H.A., and Blais, N.C., 1998. Direct Economic Losses in the Northridge Earthquake: A Three-Year Post-Event Perspective in Earthquake Spectra, v. 14, no. 2, p. 245-264 DOI: 10.1193/1.1585998

    Grossi, Patricia (2014), Northridge Earthquake today could cost insurers $20B, Carrier Management, 20 January 2014, https://www.carriermanagement.com/news/2014/01/20/117897.htm

    Hauksson, E., Jones, L.M., and Hutton, K., 1995. The 1994 Northridge earthquake sequence in California: Seismological and tectonic aspects in Journal of Geophysical Research, v., 100, no. B7, p. 12235-12355.

    Jones, L.M., Bernknopf, R., Cox, D., Goltz, J., Hudnut, K., Mileti, D., Perry, S., Ponti, D., Porter, K., Reichle, M., Seligson, H., Shoaf, K., Teriman, J., and Wein, A., 2008. The Shakeout Scenario, USGS Open File Report 2008-1150, CGS Preliminary Report 25, Version 1.0.

    Larsen, T., Bolton, M.K., and David, K.M., 2015. Pinpointing the Cost of Natural Disasters – Local Devastation and Global Impact in proceedings SECED 2015 Conference: Earthquake Risk and Engineering towards a Resilient World 9-10 July 2015, Cambridge UK, 11 pp.

    Porter, K., Jones, L., Cox, D., Goltz, J., Hudnut, K., Mileti, D., Perry, S., Ponti, D., Reichle, M., Rose, A.Z. Scawthorn, C., Seligson, H.A., Shoaf, K.I., Treiman, J., and Wein, A., 2011. The ShakeOut Scenario: A Hypothetical Mw7.8 Earthquake on the Southern San Andreas Fault in Earthquake Spectra, v. 27, no. 2., p 239-261, DOI: 10.1193/1.3563624

    Swift, J., Wilson, J., and Le, T.N., 2012. Estimated Temporal Variation of Losses Due to a Recurrence of the 1933 Long Beach Earthquake in Earthquake Spectra, v. 28, no. 1, p. 347-365 DOI: 10.1193/1.3672995

    Read about the earthquake that killed insurance at the Jumpstart Blog here.

    Learn more about the tectonics behind the 17 January 1994 M=6.7 Northridge earthquake here.

    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 10:57 am on January 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , In the late evening on January 3 a M=5.1 earthquake caused strong local ground shaking in Nagomi-machi, , Quake Connectivity, Shake Alert System,   

    From temblor: “Quake Connectivity: 3 January 2019 M=5.1 Japan shock was promoted by the April 2016 M=7.0 Kumamoto earthquake” 

    1

    From temblor

    January 7, 2019
    By Shinji Toda, Ph.D. (IRIDeS, Tohoku University)
    Ross S. Stein, Ph.D. (Temblor, Inc.)

    Was the small but strong shock in southern Japan a random event?

    In the late evening on January 3, a M=5.1 earthquake caused strong local ground shaking (JMA Intensity 6-, equivalent to MMI Intensity IX-X) in Nagomi-machi, ~25 km north of Kumamoto City (Fig. 1). Although the quake brought only light damage to the town, it stopped the Shinkansen ‘bullet trains’ and highway services for an emergency check-up during Japan’s well-traveled New Year holiday.

    1
    Figure 1. JMA intensity distribution of the January 3 M=5.1 earthquake. At the epicenter (X), the shaking reached JMA 6-.

    Japan’s Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion (HERP) declares the M=5.1 to be unrelated to the 2016 M=7.0 shock. We beg to differ.

    This quake recalls the devastating 2016 Mw=7.0 (Mjma=7.3) Kumamoto earthquake that killed 50 people and destroyed thousands of houses (Hashimoto et al., 2017). Immediately after the M=5.1 shock, HERP (2019) announced that there is no causal relation between the 3 Jan 2019 shock and the 15 April 2016 Kumamoto earthquake. In contrast, we contend that the M=5.1 is instead part of the long-lasting and remarkably widespread aftershock sequence of the M=7.0 Kumamoto earthquake.

    2
    Figure 2. (Left panel) Coulomb stress imparted by the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake sequence to the surrounding crust as a result of the combined Mw=6.0 and Mw=7.0 shocks. This figure was originally posted in a Temblor blog (Stein and Toda, 2016). Regions in which strike-slip faults are brought closer to failure are red (‘stress trigger zones’); regions now inhibited from failure are blue (‘stress shadows’). Aftershocks during first three months (translucent green dots) generally lie in regions brought closer to failure. The January 3 event (yellow star) is located in one of the stress trigger zones.

    (Right panel) Seismicity rate change between before (2009/01/01-2016/04/14) and after (2016/04/14-2019/01/02) the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake sequence. Red areas ‘turned on’ after the 2016 mainshock; blue areas ‘shut down.’

    The M=5.1 shock struck in a previously published Coulomb ‘stress trigger zone’

    In the web article of the IRIDeS Tohoku University released immediately after the 2016 shock (IRIDeS, 2016) and our blog article posted on September 2, 2016 (Stein and Toda, 2016), we emphasized the effect of Coulomb stress transfer to nearby regions (warmer color regions in Fig. 2 left panel), and mentioned the initial aftershocks mostly occurred in the regions where we calculated that the Coulomb stress increased. The Jan 3, 2019 M=5.1 shock indeed occurred in one of the stress increased lobes (yellow star in Fig. 2). This lobe experienced an increase in seismicity after the Kumamoto mainshock (Box A in Fig. 3 below).

    3
    Figure 3. Epicenters of all earthquakes shallower than 20 km during the period of 2015-2018 (JMA catalog). Although there are several dense clusters that have nothing to do with the Kumamoto earthquake, we nevertheless see that the aftershock zone is extends up to five rupture lengths from the fault (thick black line). The three boxes are where we examined the seismicity over time in Figure 4.

    The quake rate doubled in the stress trigger zone of the 2016 Mw=7.0 quake, and dropped by a factor of 5 in its stress shadow.

    Given that Japan is such an earthquake-prone country, one could argue that it was simply a random accident that the M=5.1 quake struck in the stress trigger zone. To address this possibility, we first examined the change in earthquake occurrence rate (‘seismicity rate change’) before and after the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake (Fig. 2 right panel). A visual comparison of our Coulomb calculation (Fig. 2 left panel) with seismicity rate change (Fig. 2 right panel) shows they match reasonably well. The epicenter of the 3 January 2019 event is in the red spot on both maps. Furthermore, regions north and south of the 2016 rupture zone, in which the faults were inhibited from failure by the stress changes, indeed show a seismicity decrease.

    To make sure that the local seismicity responded to the Kumamoto earthquake and not some other event at roughly the same time, we have chosen three sub-regions (boxes in Fig. 3) and looked at their seismicity time series (Fig. 4). In box A, the number of shocks, most of which are very small, was ~600 a year before the 2016 mainshock. But it has risen by over 2, to ~1500 per year since the mainshock. Thus, the M=5.1 event occurred in the zone of sustained higher rate of seismicity associated with the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake. A similar continuous and long-lasting seismicity increase also occurred in box C (northern Miyazaki Prefecture) where Coulomb stress was also imparted by the mainshock. The opposite response is observed in box B, where Coulomb stress was calculated to have decreased. There, the seismicity plummeted to 1/5 of the pre-Kumamoto level.

    4
    Figure 4. Seismic time series in the particular sub-regions, A, B, and C, corresponding to the boxes in Fig. 2 left panel and Fig. 3. The blue line indicates cumulative number of earthquakes since 2015 (with the corresponding blue scale at left), whereas the green stems identify each earthquake time and magnitude (green scale at right). What’s clear is that in all cases, the seismicity rates changed roughly at the time of the 2016 Kumamoto mainshock, and in the manner forecast by the Coulomb stress changes.

    There is a caveat that the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has changed their earthquake determination algorithm after April 2016. However, it should have been homogeneously implemented in Kyushu. Since we confirmed the regional-dependent seismic behaviors in Fig. 4, we do not think the increased seismicity in the box A in Fig. 4 is an artifact. We also note that the rate of shallow M≥5 earthquakes under inland Japan (378,000 km2) is roughly about 10 a year. It enables us to say the probability to have one M≥5 quake in the box A (1168 km2) per year is ~3%, and so it is rare enough to make an accidental or coincidental occurrence unlikely.

    The long-lasting and far-reaching impact of stress transfer on seismic hazard.

    A key lesson learned from this M=5.1 quake is the effect of stress disturbance due to the three-year-old M=7 event continues over a large area in central Kyushu. And even though the size of the January 3 quake is much smaller than the M=7.0, it can nevertheless cause serious damage. Further, aftershocks do not get smaller with time after a mainshock; instead they only get more spaced out in time. So, a larger shock could still strike. The most likely place for such an event is unfortunately the highly-populated Kumamoto city, because there the stress imparted by the 2016 mainshock was greater than anywhere else.

    References

    Manabu Hashimoto, Martha Savage, Takuya Nishimura, Haruo Horikawa and Hiroyuki Tsutsumi (2017), Special issue “2016 Kumamoto earthquake sequence and its impact on earthquake science and hazard assessment” Earth, Planets and Space, 69-98, https://earth-planets-space.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40623-017-0682-7

    Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion (2019), https://www.static.jishin.go.jp/resource/monthly/2019/20190103_kumamoto.pdf

    IRIDeS (International Research Institute of Disaster Science) (2016), http://irides.tohoku.ac.jp/event/2016kumamotoeq_science.html

    Ross S. Stein and Volkan Sevilgen (2016), The Tail that Wagged the Dog: M=7.0 Kumamoto, Japan shock promoted by M=6.1 quake that struck 28 hr beforehand http://temblor.net/earthquake-insights/japan-542/

    Ross S. Stein and Shinji Toda (2016), How a M=6 earthquake triggered a deadly M=7 in Japan, Temblor http://temblor.net/earthquake-insights/how-a-m6-earthquake-triggered-a-deadly-m7-in-japan-1304/

    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 10:08 am on December 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Shake Alert System, Sunda Strait tsunami launched by sudden collapse of Krakatau volcano into the sea,   

    From temblor: “Sunda Strait tsunami launched by sudden collapse of Krakatau volcano into the sea” 

    1

    From temblor

    December 23, 2018
    Jason Patton

    Residents of the islands of Sumatra and Java were surprised by an unexpected tsunami yesterday. At the time we write this, there are reports of over 200 unfortunate deaths.

    Cause: Earthquake, Landslide, or Volcanic Eruption?

    1
    Satellite imagery comparison based on Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellite imagery.

    ESA/Sentinel 1

    Tsunami can be triggered by 4 processes: earthquakes, landslides, weather causes (storms), and volcanic eruptions. Tide gages in the Sunda Strait recorded the tsunami and there is a wide range of observations that can be found on social media. Tsunami caused by submarine landslides can be nearly impossible to plan for and there is typically very little advance notice.

    The Sunda Strait is the seaway that is formed between the islands of Java and Sumatra, Indonesia. This area of the world is best known for the 1883 eruption of Krakatau (or Krakatoa). This is a region of active tectonics and the deadly earthquake and tsunami from 2004 is still in our minds and hearts, not to mention the tsunami in Palu, Sulawesi, Indonesia just a short time ago.

    After the tsunami hit, people immediately thought about the Anak Krakatau volcano as a possible source, where there has been ongoing eruptions for several years. This volcano is located where the 1883 eruption happened and is part of the same volcanic system. There are ongoing efforts to monitor this volcanic system (Hoffmann-Rothe, et al., 2006).

    The vitally important service from national organizations like the European Union provide near real time satellite imagery. When compared with historic imagery, we have the ability to evaluate changes at the Earth’s surface.

    The landslide could have itself been triggered by earthquakes or an eruption. Considering the low level of seismicity, the eruption is the likely culprit. Because the eruption is continuing, the possibility for additional landslides and tsunami should be considered for people who live along the coastline in the Sunda Strait.

    We have outlined the general location of the shoreline on these images to take a first glance at the size of the landslide. The images are imperfect and this analysis is an approximation. The source of the satellite imagery is listed in the references below.

    We have also outlined the spatial extent of the shoreline of Krakatau prior to the 1883 eruption.

    Krakatau

    The eruption in 1883 is known around the world because it had a global impact upon the climate for several years. Simon Winchester wrote a book entitled Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded, August 27, 1883 and this is considered an excellent text that helps people learn about the eruption and the impact of volcanic hazards.

    The 1883 eruption also caused a tsunami that caused devastation along the coastline and killed several thousand people. Below is a lithograph showing the 1883 eruption. This was published in 1888 (Royal Society, 1888).

    2
    An 1888 lithograph of the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa.

    The Smithsonian Institution has an excellent website that covers the monitoring of volcanoes around the globe. Here is the webpage for the Anak Krakatau volcano.

    There are lots of videos and photos of the ongoing eruptions. Below is a spectacular video taken from an airplane sent by the Indonesian Government to investigate the situation.

    These natural hazards span the globe. Learn more about your exposure to natural hazards at temblor.net.

    Tsunami Without Warning

    The tsunami lasted about an hour in places and created both sea level rise and fall.

    Below are two tide gage records from the region nearest the volcanic islands in the Sunda Strait. The upper panels show the tsunami records. The lower panel is a map showing the locations relative to Anak Krakatau.

    3

    4

    Tide gage records from http://tides.big.go.id . Vertical scale is in meters (about the same size as a yard).

    The tide gage record reveals that there was about 40 minutes from the first wave arrival to the highest and most destructive inundation. So, even without an expensive tsunami warning buoy system, or without a Krakatau Island seismic and GPS monitoring network, we can see, in retrospect, that warning was possible. A rate-of-change detector on tide gages could have been effective if a signal were sent to cell phones.

    Out of the 2004 ‘Boxing Day’ M=9.2 earthquake tsunami catastrophe was born the DART buoy system in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Out of the 2011 M=9.0 Tohoku earthquake tsunami disaster was born much faster and more accurate tsunami warnings when triggered by large offshore quakes.

    Wouldn’t it be great if, out of this tragedy, a simple but effective warning system arose that could be ‘bolted on’ to existing telemetered tide gages that are already in place along the Pacific Ring of Fire and other volcanic centers?

    References:

    Hoffmann-Rothe, A., Seht, M.I-V., Knieb, R., Faber, E., Klinge, K., Reichert, C., Purbawinata, M.A., and Patria, C., 2006. Monitoring Anak Krakatau Volcano in Indonesia in EOS Transactions, v. 87, no. 81, p. 581, 585-586

    Royal Society, 1888. The Eruption of Krakatoa and Subsequent Phenomena, Report of the Krakatoa Committee of the Geological Society, London, Trubner and Co.

    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 11:39 am on October 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Shake Alert System, , The Whistle   

    From temblor: “The Whistle: Are We Ready for the Big One?” 

    1

    From temblor

    October 24, 2018

    Jason R. Patton, Ph.D.
    Ross Stein, Ph.D.
    Volkan Sevilgen, M.Sc.

    It Has Happened Before

    The southern San Andreas fault (SSAF) is a plate boundary strike-slip fault, where the Pacific plate moves northward relative to the North America plate. There have been large earthquakes on this fault in historic time, including the 1857 Forth Tejon earthquake. This 1857 earthquake is estimated to have been a magnitude 7.9 earthquake (larger than the recent earthquake in Sulawesi, Indonesia). There is also a record of prehistoric earthquakes on this fault, spanning the past 5000 years (Weldon et al., 2004; Sharer et al., 2007). These authors have determined that the average time between earthquakes on the SSAF is 105 years. However, the time between earthquakes ranges from 31 – 165 years. This large variation in inter-event time periods makes it more difficult to know when the next “Big One” will happen.

    The USGS prepares earthquake scenarios based on our knowledge about past earthquakes and how future earthquakes may behave based on our empirical knowledge. Below is a USGS scenario map for the part of the SSAF that ruptured in the 1857 Fort Tejon earthquake. The color scale represent relative earthquake shaking intensity based on the Modified Mercalli Intensity scale. Warmer colors represent areas of stronger ground shaking. While the map below is based on a computer model, this is a good estimate of how strongly the ground shook in 1957. Note how the strongest ground shaking is adjacent to the fault.

    1
    USGS Shakemap scenario map for the southern San Andreas fault, showing an estimate of shaking intensity from an earthquake similar in length and magnitude to the 1857 Fort Tejon earthquake. The part of the fault that slips in this scenario earthquake is shown as a black line, very similar to the known extent of the 1857 earthquake.

    Several governments and non-governmental organizations prepare estimates of seismic hazard so that people can ensure their building codes are designed to mitigate these hazards. The Global Earthquake Model (GEM) is an example of our efforts to estimate seismic hazards on a global scale. Temblor.net uses the Global Earth Activity Rate (GEAR) model to provide estimates of seismic hazard at a global to local scale (Bird et al., 2015). GEAR blends quakes during the past 41 years with strain of the Earth’s crust as measured using Global Positioning System (GPS) observations.

    Below is a map prepared using the temblor.net app. Seismicity from the past month, week, and day are shown as colored circles. The temblor app suggests that this region of San Bernardino, CA has an earthquake score of 93. To find out what your earthquake score is, enter your address in the app at temblor.net.

    2
    Earthquake Risk map for southern California, centered on the inland empire. Active faults are shown as red lines. Earthquakes from the past month are shown as circles.

    We Imagine the Consequences

    Earthquakes can cause damage to buildings and other infrastructure due to the shaking intensity. The closer to the earthquake, the higher the intensity. Buildings are located on different types of bedrock and this can amplify the shaking intensity in places. How do we know this? We have made direct observations of the damage from earthquakes.

    There is ample evidence of what happens during earthquakes like what will occur on the SSAF someday. The same fault system, further north, has also ruptured in historic time. In 1868, the Hayward fault (a sister fault of the San Andreas) had an earthquake that caused extensive damage in the San Francisco Bay area. The USGS and the California Geological Survey are using the 150 year anniversary of this earthquake as a tool to educate the public about earthquake hazards along these active faults in northern California. Here is a short video about the HayWired Scenario. More can be learned about how to outsmart disaster at the “HayWired” website here.

    Below is a photo from the aftermath of the 1868 Hayward fault earthquake.

    3
    This photo shows damage to “Pierce’s House,” a building damaged by the 1868 Hayward fault earthquake. Image source: Wikimedia Commons, public domain.

    Another historic earthquake that caused extensive damage in California is the 1906 Great San Francisco earthquake, another San Andreas fault earthquake. The damage from this earthquake included building damage and fire. Fire is one of the most common damaging effects of an earthquake like what will happen someday on the SSAF.

    Below is a photo showing damage to houses that were built on material that did not perform well during an earthquake.

    4
    Photo of houses following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Photo from National Archives Record Group 46, public domain.

    The combination of hazard and exposure (people) is what we call risk. When people are exposed to earthquake hazards, they are at risk from damage due to those earthquakes. If there is an earthquake and nobody is there to experience the earthquake, there is no risk. One major difference between 1868, 1906, and today is that there are more people that live close to these earthquake faults. While the average number of earthquakes stays relatively constant through time, as the population grows in earthquake country, the risk also grows.

    Do you live along the San Andreas or some other plate boundary fault? What about another kind of fault?

    To learn more about your exposure to these hazards, visit temblor.net.

    When is the next Big One?

    We don’t know when the next southern San Andreas fault big earthquake will happen. Currently there are no scientifically demonstrated ways to predict earthquakes. We can use the frequency of past earthquakes and patterns of earthquake occurrence (current seismicity) to estimate the chance that an earthquake will occur over a period of time.

    These estimates of future earthquake occurrence are called forecasts. Most people are familiar with weather forecasts, but we know much less about earthquakes than we do about weather. Because of this, earthquake forecasts may not have the same amount of accuracy that weather forecasts do. However, these forecasts are based on the latest cutting edge science about earthquakes and are monumentally better than simply tossing a coin. The cool thing about these forecasts is that the science behind them improves over time as we learn more about how earthquakes happen. This is another improvement over coin tosses, which flip pretty much the same as they did since coins were invented.

    The Whistle is an upcoming series of broadcasts produced by the Empire Network, a collaboration between KVCR, PBS, and National Public Radio.

    This four-part documentary series that dives into earthquake science, history, local and international earthquakes and tsunamis, California preparedness and immediate response, prevention, mitigation, retrofits, resilience, sustainability, conservation, incentives, challenges, new technologies… and solutions. Are we ready for the Big One?

    The first episode airs on October 25 and we will learn about earthquakes and the San Andreas fault:

    ______________________________________________________
    Earthquakes and the San Andreas fault. The Ring of Fire. What do we know about earthquakes today? What causes them, how often, why we know the Big One is due. Evolution of seismology and our understanding of earthquakes and plate tectonics. How did the First Nations and early European settlers deal with Earthquakes before modern technology? How dangerous is the threat and how much of an impact can a big earthquake cause? What will happen when the next big one hits?
    ______________________________________________________

    Episode 2 covers how our immediate response might unfold during and following the Big One. Episode 3 reviews our knowledge of the current state of infrastructures (buildings, roads) and how an earthquake might impact these investments in society. Finally, the 4th episode presents an evaluation of how we have improved our ability to be resilient in the face of disasters from the Big One following decades of applying the scientific method to our observations of earthquakes. How will Earthquake Early Warning work and how will we benefit from this? Learn more by watching The Whistle.

    The premiere for “The Whistle, Are We Ready for the Big One?” premieres on Thursday Oct. 25. Watch the first episode on television, or head to this website where the video will be available to stream online.

    3

    References

    Bird, P., Jackson, D. D., Kagan, Y. Y., Kreemer, C., and Stein, R. S., 2015. GEAR1: A global earthquake activity rate model constructed from geodetic strain rates and smoothed seismicity, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., v. 105, no. 5, p. 2538–2554, DOI: 10.1785/0120150058

    Sharer, K.M., Weldon, R.J.III., Fumal, T.E., and Biasi, G., 2007. Paleoearthquakes on the Southern San Andreas Fault, Wrightwood, California, 3000 to 1500 B.C.: A New Method for Evaluating Paleoseismic Evidence and Earthquake Horizons in Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., v. 97, no. 4, p. 1054–1093, DOI: 10.1785/0120060137

    Weldon, R., Sharer, K.M., Fumal, T., and Biasi, G., 2004. Wrightwood and the Earthquake Cycle: What a Long Recurrence Record Tells Us About How Faults Work in GSA Today, v. 14, no. 9, doi: 10.1130/1052-5173(2004)0142.0.CO;2

    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 11:13 am on October 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Greek earthquake in a region of high seismic hazard, , Shake Alert System,   

    From temblor: “Greek earthquake in a region of high seismic hazard” 

    1

    From temblor

    October 26, 2018
    Jason R. Patton, Ph.D.
    Ross Stein, Ph.D.
    Volkan Sevilgen, M.Sc.

    An earthquake with a magnitude of M = 6.8 earthquake struck today along the coast of Greece, preceded by a M = 5.0 earthquake. This large earthquake was felt widely across the region, including Italy, Albania, Bulgaria, and Macedonia. . Greece is at the intersection of several different tectonic regimes and is spanned by a zone of increased seismic hazard evidenced by the GEAR seismic hazard model. The earthquake is related to the convergent plate boundary that spans the southern boundary of Greece. The Gulf of Corinth, where the strongest shaking was felt, is the most seismically active site in Greece.

    Tectonic Setting

    Greece is in the middle of a tectonic die, with the right-lateral strike-slip North Anatolia fault striking from the east and the Ionian trench subduction zone converging from the south. In addition, there is a rapid (10-15 mm per year) extension at the Corinth Rift, forming the Gulf of Corinth just northeast of today’s earthquake sequence.

    The interaction of these different plate boundaries results in overlapping fault systems of different types of faults. The southern boundary of Greece is characterized by the formation of thrust faults formed from compression due to the subduction of the Africa plate beneath the Anatolia plate.

    The North Anatolia fault is a high slip rate fault (it moves fast) and can generate large damaging earthquakes such as the 1999 M = 7.6 Izmit earthquake. Much of the North Anatolia fault has ruptured in the 20th century and many consider the segment of the fault that runs near Istanbul, Turkey, is thought to be ready to slip next.

    The map below shows how the North Anatolia fault enters the region and how the subduction zones may be offset by the Kefallonia fault (Kokkalas, et al., 2006). The Ionian trench is labeled “Hellenic Arc” in this map. The M = 6.8 earthquake is in the general location of the blue star.

    1
    Plate boundary faults are shown with symbols representing the type of plate boundary. Subduction zones are shown with triangles pointing in the direction of motion of the down-going plate. Strike-slip relative motion is shown as oppositely directed arrows. Thick black arrows show relative plate motion in mm per year. Thin arrows with black dots at their base are Global Positioning System plate velocities (reference vector scale is in lower right corner).

    Seismic Hazards

    Hundreds of millions of people globally live in earthquake country. Do you live along a subduction zone or other plate boundary fault? What about another kind of fault?

    To learn more about your exposure to these hazards, visit temblor.net.

    Several governments and non-governmental organizations prepare estimates of seismic hazard so that people can ensure their building codes are designed to mitigate these hazards. The Global Earthquake Model (GEM) is an example of our efforts to estimate seismic hazards on a global scale. Temblor.net uses the Global Earth Activity Rate (GEAR) model to provide estimates of seismic hazard at a global to local scale (Bird et al., 2015). GEAR blends quakes during the past 41 years with strain of the Earth’s crust as measured using Global Positioning System (GPS) observations.

    Below is a map prepared using the temblor.net app. Seismicity from the past month, week, and day are shown as colored circles. The rainbow color scale represents the chance of a given earthquake magnitude, for a given location, within the lifetime of a person (technically, it is the magnitude with a 1% chance per year of occurring within 100 km). The temblor app suggests that this region could have an earthquake with a magnitude of M = 7.0 to 7.25 in a typical lifetime, and so the M = 6.8 was by no means rare or unexpected.

    Note how the seismic hazard is increased along the North Anatolia fault in Turkey and follows this fault as it enters Greece. There is also an increased risk of earthquakes associated with the Ionian trench. This belt of increased seismic hazard is well correlated with the tectonic boundaries. Much of Greece lies within this zone of increased seismic hazard.

    3
    Global Earthquake Activity Rate map for this region of the western equatorial Pacific. Faults are shown as red lines. Warmer colors represent regions that are more likely to experience a larger earthquake than the regions with cooler colors. Seismicity from the past is shown and the location of the M 6.8 earthquake is located near the blue teardrop symbol.

    References

    Bird, P., Jackson, D. D., Kagan, Y. Y., Kreemer, C., and Stein, R. S., 2015. GEAR1: A global earthquake activity rate model constructed from geodetic strain rates and smoothed seismicity, Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., v. 105, no. 5, p. 2538–2554, DOI: 10.1785/0120150058

    Kokkalas, S., Xypolias, P., Koukouvelas, I., and Doutsos, T., 2006, Postcollisional contractional and extensional deformation in the Aegean region, in Dilek, Y., and Pavlides, S., eds., Postcollisional tectonics and magmatism in the Mediterranean region and Asia: Geological Society of America Special Paper 409, p. 97–123

    More can be found about the seismotectonics of this region here.

    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 10:43 am on September 25, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Earthquakes and aftershocks, , Shake Alert System,   

    From Stanford University: “After the Big One: Understanding aftershock risk” 

    Stanford University Name
    From Stanford University

    1
    Cranes dismantle buildings damaged by the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. (Photo credit: iStock)

    September 21, 2018
    Josie Garthwaite

    Geophysicist Gregory Beroza discusses the culprits behind destructive aftershocks and why scientists are harnessing artificial intelligence to gain new insights into earthquake risks.

    In early September 2018, a powerful earthquake on the island of Hokkaido in northern Japan triggered landslides, toppled buildings, cut power, halted industry, killed more than 40 people and injured hundreds. The national meteorological agency warned that aftershocks could strike for up to a week following the main event.

    “A large earthquake will typically have thousands of aftershocks,” said Gregory Beroza, the Wayne Loel Professor of geophysics in the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences (Stanford Earth) at Stanford University. “We know that a big earthquake changes something in Earth’s crust that causes these aftershocks to happen.”

    The rarity of big quakes, however, makes it difficult to document and statistically model how large earthquakes interact with each other in space and time. Aftershocks could offer a workaround. “Aftershocks occur by the same mechanism, on the same geological faults and under the same conditions as other earthquakes,” Beroza explained in a recent article in the journal Nature. As a result, interactions between the largest earthquake in a sequence, known as a mainshock, and its aftershocks may hold clues to earthquake interactions more broadly, helping to explain how changes on a fault induced by one earthquake may affect the potential site of another.

    Here, Beroza discusses how scientists forecast aftershocks and why they’re turning to artificial intelligence to build better models for the future.

    What are the current methods for predicting foreshocks and where do they fall short?

    GREGORY BEROZA: When a large earthquake slips, that changes the forces throughout the Earth’s crust nearby. It’s thought that this stress change is most responsible for triggering aftershocks. The stress is what drives earthquakes.

    Scientists have noted a tendency for aftershocks to occur where two types of stress act on a fault change. The first type is called is normal stress, which is how strongly two sides of a fault are pushing together or pulling apart. The second type is called shear stress, or how strongly the two sides are being pushed past one another, parallel to the fault, by remote forces. Decreases in the normal stress and increases in the shear stress are expected to encourage subsequent earthquakes. Measures of these changes in the volume of rock around a fault are combined into a single metric called the Coulomb failure stress change.

    But it’s not a hard and fast rule. Some earthquakes occur where in a sense they shouldn’t, by that metric. There are components of stress that are different from shear stress and normal stress. There’s stress in other directions, and complex combinations. So we do okay at predicting where aftershocks will, and will not, occur after a mainshock, but not as well as we’d like.

    2
    This aerial view shows damaged houses in Mashiki town, Kumamoto prefecture, southern Japan, Friday, April 15, 2016, a day after a magnitude-6.5 earthquake. More than 100 aftershocks from Thursday night’s magnitude-6.5 earthquake continued to rattle the region as businesses and residents got a fuller look at the widespread damage from the unusually strong quake, which also injured about 800 people. (Koji Harada/Kyodo News via AP) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT

    What is an artificial neural network and how can scientists use this kind of artificial intelligence to predict earthquakes and aftershocks?

    BEROZA: Picture a machine that takes inputs from the left. Moving to the right you have a series of layers, each containing a bunch of connected neurons. And at the other end you have an outcome of some kind.

    One neuron can excite another. When you add lots of these layers with lots of different interactions, you very rapidly get an extremely large set of possible relationships. When people talk about “deep” neural networks, that means they have a lot of layers.

    In this case, your input is information about stress on a fault. The output is information about the locations of aftershocks. Scientists can take examples of observed earthquakes and use that data to train the neurons to interact in ways that produce an outcome that was observed in the real world. It’s a process called machine learning. Given this set of inputs, what’s the right answer? What did the Earth tell us for this earthquake?

    A pioneering effort to use artificial intelligence in this context published in Nature in August 2018. The authors fed a machine-learning algorithm estimates of stress changes and information on where aftershocks did or didn’t occur for a whole bunch of earthquakes. They’re not doing earthquake prediction in the usual sense, where you try to predict the time, place and magnitude of the earthquake. They’re just looking for where aftershocks occur. The model doesn’t capture the true complexity of the Earth, but it’s moving in the right direction.

    How might artificial intelligence approaches be applied to seismology more broadly?

    BEROZA: In the Earth sciences in general, we have complicated geological systems that interact strongly in ways we don’t understand. Machine learning and artificial intelligence can help us explore and maybe uncover the nature of some of those complicated relationships. It can help us explore and find relationships that scientists hadn’t thought of or tested.

    We also have very large data sets. The biggest seismic network I’ve worked with has something like 5,000 sensors in it. That’s 5,000 sensors, 100 samples per second, and it runs continuously for months. There’s so much data it’s hard to even look at it.

    The trend is for these data sets to be ever larger. Within a few years, we’re going to be working with data sets of over 10,000 sensors. How do you make sure you’re getting as much information as you can out of those massive data sets?

    Our usual way of doing business isn’t going to scale at some point. Techniques such as data mining and machine learning to help us extract as much information as we can from these very large data sets are going to be an essential part of understanding our planet in the future.

    Gregory Beroza co-directs the Stanford Center for Induced and Triggered Seismicity (SCITS).

    See the full article here .

    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


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Stanford University campus. No image credit

    Leland and Jane Stanford founded the University to “promote the public welfare by exercising an influence on behalf of humanity and civilization.” Stanford opened its doors in 1891, and more than a century later, it remains dedicated to finding solutions to the great challenges of the day and to preparing our students for leadership in today’s complex world. Stanford, is an American private research university located in Stanford, California on an 8,180-acre (3,310 ha) campus near Palo Alto. Since 1952, more than 54 Stanford faculty, staff, and alumni have won the Nobel Prize, including 19 current faculty members

    Stanford University Seal

     
  • richardmitnick 7:32 am on September 21, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A tectonic squeeze may be loading three thrust faults beneath central Los Angeles, , , , Shake Alert System,   

    From temblor: “A tectonic squeeze may be loading three thrust faults beneath central Los Angeles” 

    1

    From temblor

    September 17, 2018
    Chris Rollins

    Thrust-faulting earthquakes are a fact of life in Los Angeles and a threat to it. Three such earthquakes in the second half of the 20th century painfully etched this ongoing threat to life, limb and infrastructure into the memories and the backs of the minds of many who call this growing metropolis home. The first struck 40 seconds after 6:00 AM on a February morning in 1971 when a section of a thrust fault beneath the western San Gabriel Mountains ruptured in a magnitude 6.7 tremor. The earthquake killed 60 people, including 49 in the catastrophic collapse of the Veterans Administration Hospital in Sylmar, the closest town to the event (which is often referred to as the Sylmar earthquake). Among other structures hit hard were the newly built Newhall Pass interchange at the junction of Interstate 5 and California State Route 14, of which multiple sections collapsed, and the Van Norman Dam, which narrowly avoided failure in what could have been a cruel deja vu for a city that had been through deadly dam disasters in 1928 and 1963.

    1
    Devastation at the Veterans Administration Hospital in the 1971 Sylmar earthquake. Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Times.

    Sixteen years later, a section of the Puente Hills thrust fault ruptured in the magnitude 5.9 Whittier Narrows earthquake, killing eight people in East Los Angeles and bringing attention to a class of thrust faults that do not break the surface, called “blind” thrust faults, which will go on to form a key part of this story. Then early on another winter morning in 1994, an even more deeply buried blind thrust fault ruptured beneath the San Fernando Valley in the magnitude 6.7 Northridge earthquake, causing tens of billions of dollars in damage and taking 57 lives. One of the fatalities was Los Angeles police officer Clarence Wayne Dean, who died on his motorcycle when a span of the Newhall Pass interchange that had been rebuilt following the 1971 Sylmar earthquake collapsed again as he was riding across it in the predawn darkness.

    2
    Collapse of the Newhall Pass (I-5/CA-14) interchange in the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Officer Dean died on the downed section of overpass at right. The interchange has since been renamed the Clarence Wayne Dean Memorial Interchange in his memory. Photo courtesy of CNN.

    LA’s problem: The squeeze

    Thrust earthquakes like these, in which the top side of the fault is thrust up and over the bottom side, will likely strike Los Angeles again in the 21st century. They may in fact pose a greater hazard to the city than earthquakes on the nearby San Andreas Fault because they can occur directly beneath the central metropolitan area. This means that a city that has found so much of its identity and place in history from being improvised as it went, and from being a cultural and economic melting pot, now faces the unwieldy task of readying its diverse infrastructure and populace for the strong shaking these kinds of earthquakes can produce.

    One way that the earthquake science community has been assessing the seismic hazard in LA is by using geodesy – long-term, high-precision monitoring of the deformation of the Earth’s surface – to locate sections of faults that are stuck, or locked, causing the Earth’s crust to deform around them. It is this bending of the crust, or accumulated strain, that is violently released in earthquakes; therefore the locations where this bending is taking place might indicate where future earthquakes will occur, and perhaps how large and frequent they could be. Several decades of geodetic monitoring have shown that the greater Los Angeles area is being squeezed from north to south at roughly 8-9 millimeters per year (⅓ inch per year), about one-fourth the rate at which human fingernails grow. Thrust faults, such as those on which the Sylmar, Whittier Narrows and Northridge earthquakes struck, are ultimately driven by this compression.

    3
    Geodetic data, tectonics and material properties relevant to the problem. Dark blue arrows show the north-south tectonic compression inferred by Argus et al. [2005] after removing deformation caused by aquifer and oil use. Black lines are faults, dashed where blind. Background shading is a measure of material stiffness at the surface based on the Community Velocity Model [Shaw et al., 2015]. “Beach balls” show the locations and senses of slip of the 1971 Sylmar, 1987 Whittier Narrows and 1994 Northridge earthquakes. Figure simplified from Rollins et al. [2018].

    Why the science is still very much ongoing

    The task of linking the north-south tectonic squeeze to specific faults encounters several unique challenges in Los Angeles. First, the city sits atop not only active faults but also several aquifers and oil fields that have long provided part of its livelihood and continue to be used today, which deforms the crust around them. Geodetic data are affected by this anthropogenic deformation, to the extent that a recent study used these data to observe Los Angeles “breathing” water from year to year and even to resolve key hydrological properties of particular sections of aquifers. This spectacular deformation, which furnishes science that can be used in resource management around the world, has the unfortunate effect of obscuring the more gradual north-south tectonic shortening in Los Angeles in these data.

    4
    Animation from Riel et al. [2018] showing long-term subsidence of the Earth’s surface due to use of the Los Angeles and Santa Ana aquifers.

    Second, the faults are a complex jumble. The crust underlying Los Angeles is cut by thrust faults, strike-slip faults like the San Andreas Fault and subparallel to it, and other strike-slip faults nearly perpendicular to it. Although these faults all take part in accommodating the gradual north-south squeeze, the relative contributions of the thrust and strike-slip faults in doing so has been the subject of debate. The problem of estimating strain accumulation on subsurface faults is also generally at the mercy of uncertainties as to how faults behave at depth in the Earth’s crust and how they intersect and link up.

    Third, Los Angeles sits atop a deep sedimentary basin, created when a previous episode of extension created a “hole” in the crust that was gradually filled by sediments eroded off the surrounding mountain ranges. These sedimentary layers are more easily deformed than the stiffer rocks in the mountains around the basin, complicating the problem of estimating strain accumulation at depth from the way the surface is deforming. Finally, as in the case of the Puente Hills Fault, some of the major thrust faults in Los Angeles do not break the surface but are “blind.” This means that the bending of the crust around locked sections of these faults is buried and more difficult to detect at the surface.

    5
    Basin sediments affect the relationship between fault slip and deformation at the surface by up to 50% for the cases of the Puente Hills Fault (left) and Compton Fault (right). For the same fault slip, the basin is more compliant and so the Earth’s surface is displaced more (red arrows) than if it were absent (blue arrows). Figure simplified from Rollins et al. [2018].

    Three thrust faults may be doing a lot of the work

    Several important advances over the past two decades have paved pathways towards overcoming these challenges. The signal of deformation due to water and oil management can be subtracted from the geodetic data to yield a clearer picture of the tectonic shortening. The geometries of faults at depth have also come into focus, as earth scientists at the Southern California Earthquake Center and Harvard University have compiled decades of oil well logs and seismic reflection data to build the Community Fault Model, a detailed 3D picture of these complex geometries. A parallel effort has yielded the Community Velocity Model, a 3D model of the structure and composition of the Southern California crust that is internally consistent with the fault geometries.

    6
    A cross section of faults and earthquakes across central Los Angeles from Rollins et al. [2018]. Red lines are faults, dashed where uncertain; pairs of arrows along the thrust faults show their long-term sense of slip. White circles are earthquakes. Basin structure is from the Community Velocity Model.

    Recently, a team of researchers from Caltech, JPL and USC (with contributions from many other earthquake scientists) has begun to put these pieces together. Their approaches and findings were published in the Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR) this summer. On the challenge presented by the complex array of faults, the study found that the strike-slip faults probably accommodate less than 20% of the total shortening at the max, leaving the rest to be explained by thrust faulting or other processes. Three thrust faults, the Sierra Madre, Puente Hills and Compton faults, stand out in particular as good candidates. All three appear to span the Los Angeles basin from west to east, and the Puente Hills and Sierra Madre faults have generated moderate earthquakes in the last three decades, including the Whittier Narrows shock and a magnitude 5.8 tremor in 1991. Paleoseismology (the study of prehistoric earthquakes) has also revealed that these three faults have each generated multiple earthquakes in the past 15,000 years whose magnitudes may have exceeded 7.0.

    7
    Alternative models of how quickly strain is accumulating on the Compton, Puente Hills and Sierra Madre Faults, assuming that the transition between completely locked (stuck) and freely slipping patches of fault is gradual (left) or sharp (right), simplified from Rollins et al. [2018]. Gray lines are major highways.

    How fast is stress building up on these faults?

    Exploring a wide range of assumptions (such as whether the transitions between stuck and unstuck sections of faults may be gradual or abrupt), the team inferred that the Sierra Madre, Puente Hills and Compton faults appear to be partially or fully locked and building up stress on their upper (shallowest) sections. The estimated total rate of strain accumulation on the three faults is equivalent to a magnitude 6.7-6.8 earthquake like the Sylmar earthquake once every 100 years, or a magnitude 7.0 shock every 250 years. These back-of-the-envelope calculations, however, belie the fact that this strain is likely released by earthquakes across a wide range of magnitudes. The team is currently working to assess just how wide this range of magnitudes practically needs to be: whether the strain can be released as fast as it is accruing without needing to invoke earthquakes larger than Sylmar and Northridge, for example, or whether the M>7 thrust earthquakes inferred from paleoseismology are indeed a likely part of the picture over the long term.

    This picture of strain accumulation will sharpen as the methods used to build it are improved, as community models of faults and structure continue to be refined, and especially as more high-resolution data, such as that used to observe LA “breathing” water, is brought to bear on the estimation problem. The tolls of the Sylmar, Whittier Narrows and Northridge earthquakes in lives and livelihoods are a reminder that we should work as fast as possible to understand the menace that lies beneath the City of Angels.

    References

    Argus, D. F., Heflin, M. B., Peltzer, G., Crampé, F., & Webb, F. H. (2005). Interseismic strain accumulation and anthropogenic motion in metropolitan Los Angeles. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 110(B4).

    Riel, B. V., Simons, M., Ponti, D., Agram, P., & Jolivet, R. (2018). Quantifying ground deformation in the Los Angeles and Santa Ana coastal basins due to groundwater withdrawal. Water Resources Research 54(5), 3557-3582.

    Rollins, C., Avouac, J.-P., Landry, W., Argus, D. F., & Barbot, S. D. (2018). Interseismic strain accumulation on faults beneath Los Angeles, California. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 123, doi: 10.1029/2017JB015387.

    Shaw, J. H., Plesch, A., Tape, C., Suess, M. P., Jordan, T. H., Ely, G., Hauksson, E., Tromp, J., Tanimoto, T., & Graves, R. (2015). Unified structural representation of the southern California crust and upper mantle. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 415: 1-15.

    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 11:31 am on September 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Aftershocks can often be as horrifying as the main event, , , , , , , Shake Alert System, This New AI Tool Could Solve a Deadly Earthquake Problem We Currently Can't Fix   

    From Harvard University via Science Alert: “This New AI Tool Could Solve a Deadly Earthquake Problem We Currently Can’t Fix” 

    Harvard University
    From Harvard University

    via

    Science Alert

    4 SEP 2018
    DAVID NIELD

    1
    (mehmetakgu/iStock)

    It could literally save lives.

    The aftershocks of a devastating earthquake can often be as horrifying as the main event. Now scientists have developed a system for predicting where such post-quake tremors could take place, and they’ve used an ingenious application of artificial intelligence (AI) to make this happen.

    Knowing more about what’s coming next can be a matter of life or death for communities reeling from a large quake. The aftershocks can often cause further injuries and fatalities, damage buildings, and complicate rescue efforts.

    A team led by researchers from Harvard University has trained AI to crunch huge amounts of sensor data and apply deep learning to make more accurate predictions.

    The researchers behind the new system say it’s not ready to be deployed yet, but is already more reliable at pinpointing aftershocks than current prediction models.

    In the years ahead, it could become a vital part of the prediction systems used by seismologists.

    “There are three things you want to know about earthquakes – you want to know when they are going to occur, how big they’re going to be and where they’re going to be,” says one of the team, Brendan Meade from Harvard University in Massachusetts.

    “Prior to this work we had empirical laws for when they would occur and how big they were going to be, and now we’re working the third leg, where they might occur.”

    The idea to use deep learning to tackle this came to Meade when he was on a sabbatical at Google – a company where AI is being deployed in many different areas of computing and science.

    Machine learning is just one facet of AI, and is exactly what it sounds like: machines learning from sets of data, so they can cope with new problems that they haven’t been specifically programmed to tackle.

    Deep learning is a more advanced type of machine learning, applying what are called neural networks to try and mimic the thinking processes of the brain.

    In simple terms it means the AI can see more possible results at once, and weigh up a more complex map of factors and considerations, sort-of like neurons in a brain would.

    It’s perfect for earthquakes, with so many variables to consider – from the strength of the shock to the position of the tectonic plates to the type of ground involved. Deep learning could potentially tease out patterns that human analysts could never spot.

    To put this to use with aftershocks, Meade and his colleagues tapped into a database of over 131,000 pairs of earthquake and aftershock readings, taken from 199 previous earthquakes.

    Having let the AI engine chew through those, they then got it to predict the activity of more than 30,000 similar pairs, suggesting the likelihood of aftershocks hitting locations based on a grid of 5 square kilometre (1.9 square mile) units.

    The results were ahead of the Coulomb failure stress change model currently in use. If 1 represents perfect accuracy, and .5 represents flipping a coin, the Coulomb model scored 0.583, and the new AI system managed 0.849.

    “I’m very excited for the potential for machine learning going forward with these kind of problems – it’s a very important problem to go after,” says one of the researchers, Phoebe DeVries from Harvard University.

    “Aftershock forecasting in particular is a challenge that’s well-suited to machine learning because there are so many physical phenomena that could influence aftershock behaviour and machine learning is extremely good at teasing out those relationships.”

    A key ingredient, the researchers say, was the addition of the von Mises yield criterion into the AI’s algorithms – a calculation that can predict when materials will break under stress. Previously used in fields like metallurgy, the calculation hasn’t been extensively used in modelling earthquakes before now.

    There’s still a way to go here – the researchers point out their current AI models are only designed to deal with one type of aftershock trigger, and simple fault lines: it’s not yet a system that can be applied to any kind of quake around the world.

    What’s more, it’s too slow right now to predict the deadly aftershocks that can happen a day or two after the first earthquake.

    However, the good news is that neural networks are designed to continually get better over time, which means with more data and more learning cycles, the system should steadily improve.

    “I think we’ve really just scratched the surface of what could be done with aftershock forecasting… and that’s really exciting,” says DeVries.

    The research has been published in Nature.

    See the full article here .

    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

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Harvard University campus
    Harvard is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was named after the College’s first benefactor, the young minister John Harvard of Charlestown, who upon his death in 1638 left his library and half his estate to the institution. A statue of John Harvard stands today in front of University Hall in Harvard Yard, and is perhaps the University’s best known landmark.

    Harvard University has 12 degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The University has grown from nine students with a single master to an enrollment of more than 20,000 degree candidates including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. There are more than 360,000 living alumni in the U.S. and over 190 other countries.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:07 am on August 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Bhutan Earthquake Opens Doors to Geophysical Studies, , , , , Shake Alert System   

    From Eos: “Bhutan Earthquake Opens Doors to Geophysical Studies” 

    From AGU
    Eos news bloc

    From Eos

    13 August 2018
    György Hetényi
    Rodolphe Cattin
    Dowchu Drukpa

    1
    Taktsang, also known as the Tiger’s Nest, is a famous cliffside monastery in western Bhutan. Recent geophysical surveys have uncovered evidence of past earthquakes in this region that were much stronger than more recent events. Credit: iStock.com/KiltedArab

    In 2015, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake shook the Gorkha District of Nepal, killing more than 9,000. The memory of this event is still vivid for the residents of this central Himalayan nation.

    But farther east in the mountains, in Bhutan, many residents doubt the likelihood of a similar event happening to them. Bhutan had experienced several other earthquakes with a magnitude of about 6 during the past century. However, there was no clear evidence that Bhutan had ever seen an earthquake similar to the M7.8 Nepal event.

    Findings from recent geophysical exploration suggest that this confidence may be overly optimistic. These results have shown that the eastern Himalayas region is extremely complex compared with the rest of the mountain belt.

    The kingdom of Bhutan sets great store in its traditions and its principle of Gross National Happiness. Although its rugged terrain and remote location have allowed this kingdom to preserve its unique culture, these factors have also limited the development of international collaborations there, notably in the Earth sciences. This situation changed in 2009 after a damaging M6.1 earthquake that claimed 11 lives persuaded Bhutan to open its doors to exploration of the region’s geophysics.

    Our team studied mountain-building processes in this region after the 2009 earthquake. After 7 years of multipronged field campaigns, we learned that Bhutan’s geodynamics are as unique as its culture. The region’s crustal structure, seismicity, and deformation pattern are all different from what scientists had speculated previously.

    During our campaigns, we found evidence that at least one M8 earthquake had, in fact, occurred in Bhutan. This means that other earthquakes of this magnitude could occur in the region again [Hetényi et al., 2016b; Berthet et al., 2014; Le Roux-Mallouf et al., 2016].

    A Different Plate?

    Although the western and central Himalayan arc curves gently from Pakistan to Sikkim and has a low-lying foreland, the eastern third curves more sharply and has significant topographical relief south of the mountain belt, namely, the Shillong Plateau and neighboring hills (Figure 1). Previous studies proposed that these structures accommodate part of the India-Eurasia tectonic plate convergence. These earlier studies also proposed that the great 1897 Assam earthquake (M8.1) had relieved some of the strain between these converging tectonic plates, thereby lowering earthquake hazard in Bhutan.

    3
    Fig. 1. Topographic map of the 2,500-kilometer-long Himalayan arc and surrounding region, with formerly (yellow) and newly (pink) cataloged seismicity. The dextral fault zone (white arrows) between Sikkim and the Shillong Plateau marks the break of the India plate, east of which a zone of complex 3-D deformation begins. Red dates mark the three largest earthquakes mentioned in the text. Green lines mark the surface trace of the megathrust along which the India plate underthrusts the Himalayan orogen, as well as the thrust faults bounding the Shillong Plateau. Political boundaries are shown for reference. Abbreviations: Pl. = plateau; Pr. = Pradesh; Sik. = Sikkim.

    We collected new gravity, geodetic, and seismology data, and we found that the lithosphere—the rigid top layer of Earth—beneath Bhutan and the Shillong Plateau is most likely not part of the Indian plate or, if it once was, that it is now detached from it. The demarcation between plates stretches in a NW–SE direction, without a surface trace, but it is evident in a middle to lower crustal zone of continuously active seismicity and dextral (right-lateral) motion [Diehl et al., 2017]. This fault zone most likely hosted an M7 earthquake in 1930.

    4
    Research team member Théo Berthet monitors data collection during a campaign to a less visited region in central Bhutan. The Black Mountains, which rise to 4,500–4,600 meters, are visible in the background. Credit: György Hetényi

    Our GPS measurements confirm the relative motion of the newly defined microplate. These measurements also show that this microplate is rotating clockwise with respect to the Indian plate [Vernant et al., 2014]. The different behaviors of the two lithospheres are clearly expressed in their differences in flexural stiffness along the strike direction of the orogen (mountain belt). The flexural stiffness beneath Nepal is homogeneous [Berthet et al., 2013] but is comparatively weaker beneath Bhutan [Hammer et al., 2013].

    A similar, but less well defined, deep seismicity zone, with distinct GPS vectors and flexural signatures, may mark another terrain boundary farther east along the Himalayas in Arunachal Pradesh [Hetényi et al., 2016a].

    Not a Safe Haven

    India’s 1897 Assam earthquake, which occurred farther south, is only a few human generations in the past and has not completely faded from memory. No event since then has reached magnitude 7 in Bhutan, and many of the local population believe that big earthquakes cannot happen there.

    However, the return period of large Himalayan events is longer than oral history: Western Nepal, for example, has not experienced a significant event since 1505. It is true that over the past decades, the seismicity rate in Bhutan has been low, but we have found evidence of several great earthquakes in the past on the local megathrust.

    Geomorphological analysis of uplifted river terraces in central Bhutan revealed two major events over the past millennium [Berthet et al., 2014]. A newly excavated paleoseismological trench has documented surface rupture during a medieval event and a 17th–18th century event [Le Roux-Mallouf et al., 2016]. Calculations based on newly translated historical eyewitness reports, macroseismic information, and reassessed damage reports have constrained a M8 ± 0.5 earthquake on 4 May 1714 [Hetényi et al., 2016b].

    Thus, the seismic gap proved to be an information gap: The entire length of the Himalayas can generate earthquakes with a magnitude greater than 7.5, and it has done so in the past 500 years.

    5
    The landscape in eastern Bhutan, south of Trashigang, typically features incised valleys, steep slopes, and terraces. The hut in the center is shown in the inset for scale. The view here is to the east, and the hut is located at 27.2784°N, 91.4478°E. Credit: György Hetényi

    Differences at Multiple Scales

    The major change along the Himalayas occurs between their central western part (with a single convergence zone) and the eastern third (with distributed deformation including strike-slip motion), and the east–west extent of Bhutan exhibits even greater complexity. The crust appears to be smoothly descending in western Bhutan and is subhorizontal in the eastern part of the country [Singer et al., 2017a]. Our measurements of seismic wave speeds in the upper crust show important changes across the country, and they coincide well with the geological structure mapped at the surface [Singer et al., 2017b].

    The most striking difference between western and eastern Bhutan is the crustal deformation pattern. In the west, the accommodation of present-day crustal shortening is very similar to the rest of the Himalayas: The plates in the megathrust region are fully locked [Vernant et al., 2014], and microseismicity (the occurrence of small events) is scattered across the crust [Diehl et al., 2017]. In the east, the locked segment of the megathrust is shorter, and it focuses most of the microseismic activity within a smaller region. Also, the fault appears to be creeping (sliding without producing significant seismicity) in both shallower and deeper segments [Marechal et al., 2016].

    This variation of loading and background seismicity warrants further research along the entire Himalayan orogen because there is very little existing insight into variations of structures and processes at such short distance scales.

    6
    Gangkhar Puensum, a mountain in north central Bhutan, is clearly visible from the main road between Ura and Sengor, looking north-northwest. Gangkhar Puensum, at an altitude of 7,570 meters, is the highest unclimbed peak on Earth. For religious reasons, mountaineering above 6,000 meters is prohibited in Bhutan, so this record is very likely to remain. Credit: György Hetényi

    Bhutan Is Moving Forward

    Bhutan is an exotic place that has self-imposed isolation for a long time, but the country’s technology is now catching up at a rate that is higher than for the rest of the Himalayan regions. During our 2010 campaign, we used paper traveler’s checks, and we lacked individual cell phones. During our 2017 campaign, we had access to automated teller machines (ATMs) and 3G internet.

    Likewise, our 7 years of field campaigns in this region have advanced our geophysical exploration and geodynamic understanding considerably. Still, there is a strong need to continue and build on the existing knowledge, which includes freely available seismological, gravity, and GPS data from our projects.

    Focusing on three areas would help improve future development in Bhutan:

    Broadening timescales. Acquiring long-term data needed to confirm or to adjust interpretations made on relatively short timescales is possible only with national observatories. We have launched seismology and GPS monitoring initiatives, and we hope for long-term funding and training of local manpower for all levels of operation.
    Broadening investigations. Some fields of study have advanced dramatically, including work on glacial lake outburst floods and on landslides. Others, like seismic microzonation, have been limited so far and could benefit from more extensive efforts. There is also a strong need for up-to-date building codes that reflect the scientific knowledge coming from these investigations.
    Increasing public awareness of natural hazards. The Bhutanese Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs now has a full department devoted to disaster management that includes well-trained employees and comprehensive administration. However, education is the key to reaching the broadest population possible, which requires regular adaptation of school curricula and concise, practical information that local residents from any generation can understand.

    We hope that recent efforts by our teams have promoted progress in the right direction. We also hope that large portions of the population will be sufficiently aware to deal with the next natural disaster. As our research shows, the next event may come sooner than previously thought.

    6
    The main Himalayan peaks in northwest Bhutan, on the border with southern Tibet, are, from left to right, Chomolhari, Jichu Drake, and Tserim Kang. Exact altitudes are debated, but Chomolhari is higher than 7,000 meters, and Tserim Kang towers above 6,500 meters. Credit: György Hetényi

    Acknowledgments

    The authors gratefully acknowledge all scientific, fieldwork, and logistical help provided by participants of the projects GANSSER and BHUTANEPAL, carried out in collaboration with the Department of Geology and Mines and the National Land Commission, Thimphu, Bhutan, and with support of Helvetas. Research highlighted in this article became possible thanks to the seed funding of the North-South Centre (ETH Zurich), followed by funding from the Swiss National Science Foundation (grants 200021_143467 and PP00P2_157627) and the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche (grant 13-BS06-0006-01).

    References

    Berthet, T., et al. (2013), Lateral uniformity of India plate strength over central and eastern Nepal, Geophys. J. Int., 195, 1,481–1,493, https://doi.org/10.1093/gji/ggt357.

    Berthet, T., et al. (2014), Active tectonics of the eastern Himalaya: New constraints from the first tectonic geomorphology study in southern Bhutan, Geology, 42, 427–430, https://doi.org/10.1130/G35162.1.

    Diehl, T., et al. (2017), Seismotectonics of Bhutan: Evidence for segmentation of the eastern Himalayas and link to foreland deformation, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 471, 54–64, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2017.04.038.

    Hammer, P., et al. (2013), Flexure of the India plate underneath the Bhutan Himalaya, Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, 4,225–4,230, https://doi.org/10.1002/grl.50793.

    Hetényi, G., et al. (2016a), Segmentation of the Himalayas as revealed by arc-parallel gravity anomalies, Sci. Rep., 6, 33866, https://doi.org/10.1038/srep33866.

    Hetényi, G., et al. (2016b), Joint approach combining damage and paleoseismology observations constrains the 1714 A.D. Bhutan earthquake at magnitude 8±0.5, Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, 10,695–10,702, https://doi.org/10.1002/2016GL071033.

    Le Roux-Mallouf, R., et al. (2016), First paleoseismic evidence for great surface-rupturing earthquakes in the Bhutan Himalayas, J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 121, 7,271–7,283, https://doi.org/10.1002/2015JB012733.

    Marechal, A., et al. (2016), Evidence of interseismic coupling variations along the Bhutan Himalayan arc from new GPS data, Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, 12,399–12,406, https://doi.org/10.1002/2016GL071163.

    Singer, J., et al. (2017a), The underthrusting Indian crust and its role in collision dynamics of the eastern Himalaya in Bhutan: Insights from receiver function imaging, J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 122, 1,152–1,178, https://doi.org/10.1002/2016JB013337.

    Singer, J., et al. (2017b), Along-strike variations in the Himalayan orogenic wedge structure in Bhutan from ambient seismic noise tomography, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 18, 1,483–1,498, https://doi.org/10.1002/2016GC006742.

    Vernant, P., et al. (2014), Clockwise rotation of the Brahmaputra Valley relative to India: Tectonic convergence in the eastern Himalaya, Naga Hills, and Shillong Plateau, J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth, 119, 6,558–6,571, https://doi.org/10.1002/2014JB011196.

    Author Information

    György Hetényi (email: gyorgy.hetenyi@unil.ch), Faculty of Geosciences and Environment, Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Lausanne, Switzerland; Rodolphe Cattin, Géosciences Montpellier, University of Montpellier, France; and Dowchu Drukpa, Department of Geology and Mines, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Thimphu, Bhutan

    See the full article here .

    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

    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.

     
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