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Title: Earthquake Alert System feasibility study

Abstract

An Earthquake Alert System (EAS) could give several seconds to several tens of seconds warning before the strong motion from a large earthquake arrives. Such a system would include a large network of sensors distributed within an earthquake-prone region. The sensors closest to the epicenter of a particular earthquake would transmit data at the speed of light to a central processing center, which would broadcast an area-wide alarm in advance of the spreading elastic wave energy from the earthquake. This is possible because seismic energy travels slowly (3--6 km/s) compared to the speed of light. Utilities, public and private institutions, businesses, and the general public would benefit from an EAS. Although many earthquake protection systems exist that automatically shut down power, gas mains, etc. when ground motion at a facility reaches damaging levels, not EAS -- that is, a system that can provide warning in advance of elastic wave energy arriving at a facility -- has ever been developed in the United States. A recent study by the National Academy of Sciences (NRC, 1991) concludes that an EAS is technically feasible and strongly recommends installing a prototype system that makes use of existing microseismic stations as much as possible. Themore » EAS concept discussed here consists of a distributed network of remote seismic stations that measure weak and strong earth motion and transmit the data in real time to central facility. This facility processes the data and issues warning broadcasts in the form of information packets containing estimates of earthquake location, zero time (the time the earthquake began), magnitude, and reliability of the predictions. User of the warning broadcasts have a dedicated receiver that monitors the warning broadcast frequency. The user also has preprogrammed responses that are automatically executed when the warning information packets contain location and magnitude estimates above a facility's tolerance.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE; USDOE, Washington, DC (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
5474351
Report Number(s):
UCRL-LR-109625
ON: DE92011816
DOE Contract Number:  
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; 58 GEOSCIENCES; EARTHQUAKES; REMOTE SENSING; FEASIBILITY STUDIES; EMERGENCY PLANS; MOTION DETECTION SYSTEMS; PLANNING; SEISMOGRAPHS; ALARM SYSTEMS; MEASURING INSTRUMENTS; SEISMIC ARRAYS; SEISMIC DETECTORS; SEISMIC EVENTS; 290300* - Energy Planning & Policy- Environment, Health, & Safety; 580000 - Geosciences

Citation Formats

Harben, P E. Earthquake Alert System feasibility study. United States: N. p., 1991. Web.
Harben, P E. Earthquake Alert System feasibility study. United States.
Harben, P E. Sun . "Earthquake Alert System feasibility study". United States.
@article{osti_5474351,
title = {Earthquake Alert System feasibility study},
author = {Harben, P E},
abstractNote = {An Earthquake Alert System (EAS) could give several seconds to several tens of seconds warning before the strong motion from a large earthquake arrives. Such a system would include a large network of sensors distributed within an earthquake-prone region. The sensors closest to the epicenter of a particular earthquake would transmit data at the speed of light to a central processing center, which would broadcast an area-wide alarm in advance of the spreading elastic wave energy from the earthquake. This is possible because seismic energy travels slowly (3--6 km/s) compared to the speed of light. Utilities, public and private institutions, businesses, and the general public would benefit from an EAS. Although many earthquake protection systems exist that automatically shut down power, gas mains, etc. when ground motion at a facility reaches damaging levels, not EAS -- that is, a system that can provide warning in advance of elastic wave energy arriving at a facility -- has ever been developed in the United States. A recent study by the National Academy of Sciences (NRC, 1991) concludes that an EAS is technically feasible and strongly recommends installing a prototype system that makes use of existing microseismic stations as much as possible. The EAS concept discussed here consists of a distributed network of remote seismic stations that measure weak and strong earth motion and transmit the data in real time to central facility. This facility processes the data and issues warning broadcasts in the form of information packets containing estimates of earthquake location, zero time (the time the earthquake began), magnitude, and reliability of the predictions. User of the warning broadcasts have a dedicated receiver that monitors the warning broadcast frequency. The user also has preprogrammed responses that are automatically executed when the warning information packets contain location and magnitude estimates above a facility's tolerance.},
doi = {},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/5474351}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1991},
month = {12}
}

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