skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Third Quarter Hanford Seismic Report for Fiscal Year 2009

Abstract

The Hanford Seismic Assessment Program (HSAP) provides an uninterrupted collection of high-quality raw and processed seismic data from the Hanford Seismic Network for the U.S. Department of Energy and its contractors. The HSAP is responsible for locating and identifying sources of seismic activity and monitoring changes in the historical pattern of seismic activity at the Hanford Site. The data are compiled, archived, and published for use by the Hanford Site for waste management, natural phenomena hazards assessments, and engineering design and construction. In addition, the HSAP works with the Hanford Site Emergency Services Organization to provide assistance in the event of a significant earthquake on the Hanford Site. The Hanford Seismic Network and the Eastern Washington Regional Network consist of 44 individual sensor sites and 15 radio relay sites maintained by the Hanford Seismic Assessment Team. The Hanford Seismic Network recorded 771 local earthquakes during the third quarter of FY 2009. Nearly all of these earthquakes were detected in the vicinity of Wooded Island, located about eight miles north of Richland just west of the Columbia River. The Wooded Island events recorded this quarter is a continuation of the swarm events observed during the January – March 2009 time periodmore » and reported in the previous quarterly report (Rohay et al, 2009). The frequency of Wooded Island events has subsided with 16 events recorded during June 2009. Most of the events were considered minor (magnitude (Mc) less than 1.0) with 25 events in the 2.0-3.0 range. The estimated depths of the Wooded Island events are shallow (averaging less than 1.0 km deep) with a maximum depth estimated at 2.2 km. This places the Wooded Island events within the Columbia River Basalt Group (CRBG). The low magnitude of the Wooded Island events has made them undetectable to all but local area residents. However, some Hanford employees working within a few miles of the area of highest activity and individuals living in homes directly across the Columbia River from the swarm center have reported feeling many of the larger magnitude events. The Hanford Strong Motion Accelerometer (SMA) network was triggered numerous times by the Wooded Island swarm events. The maximum acceleration value recorded by the SMA network was approximately 3 times lower than the reportable action level for Hanford facilities (2% g) and no action was required. The swarming is likely due to pressure that has built up, cracking the brittle basalt layers within the Columbia River Basalt Formation (CRBG). Similar earthquake “swarms” have been recorded near this same location in 1970, 1975 and 1988. Prior to the 1970s, swarming may have occurred, but equipment was not in place to record those events. Quakes of this limited magnitude do not pose a risk to Hanford cleanup efforts or waste storage facilities. Since swarms of the past did not intensify in magnitude, seismologists do not expect that these events will increase in intensity. However, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) will continue to monitor the activity.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
966299
Report Number(s):
PNNL-18818
830403000; TRN: US200921%%408
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
47 OTHER INSTRUMENTATION; ACCELERATION; ACCELEROMETERS; BASALT; COLUMBIA RIVER; CONSTRUCTION; CONTRACTORS; EARTHQUAKES; MONITORING; MONITORS; PERSONNEL; WASTE MANAGEMENT; WASTE STORAGE

Citation Formats

Rohay, Alan C, Sweeney, Mark D, Hartshorn, Donald C, Clayton, Ray E, and Devary, Joseph L. Third Quarter Hanford Seismic Report for Fiscal Year 2009. United States: N. p., 2009. Web. doi:10.2172/966299.
Rohay, Alan C, Sweeney, Mark D, Hartshorn, Donald C, Clayton, Ray E, & Devary, Joseph L. Third Quarter Hanford Seismic Report for Fiscal Year 2009. United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/966299
Rohay, Alan C, Sweeney, Mark D, Hartshorn, Donald C, Clayton, Ray E, and Devary, Joseph L. Wed . "Third Quarter Hanford Seismic Report for Fiscal Year 2009". United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/966299. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/966299.
@article{osti_966299,
title = {Third Quarter Hanford Seismic Report for Fiscal Year 2009},
author = {Rohay, Alan C and Sweeney, Mark D and Hartshorn, Donald C and Clayton, Ray E and Devary, Joseph L},
abstractNote = {The Hanford Seismic Assessment Program (HSAP) provides an uninterrupted collection of high-quality raw and processed seismic data from the Hanford Seismic Network for the U.S. Department of Energy and its contractors. The HSAP is responsible for locating and identifying sources of seismic activity and monitoring changes in the historical pattern of seismic activity at the Hanford Site. The data are compiled, archived, and published for use by the Hanford Site for waste management, natural phenomena hazards assessments, and engineering design and construction. In addition, the HSAP works with the Hanford Site Emergency Services Organization to provide assistance in the event of a significant earthquake on the Hanford Site. The Hanford Seismic Network and the Eastern Washington Regional Network consist of 44 individual sensor sites and 15 radio relay sites maintained by the Hanford Seismic Assessment Team. The Hanford Seismic Network recorded 771 local earthquakes during the third quarter of FY 2009. Nearly all of these earthquakes were detected in the vicinity of Wooded Island, located about eight miles north of Richland just west of the Columbia River. The Wooded Island events recorded this quarter is a continuation of the swarm events observed during the January – March 2009 time period and reported in the previous quarterly report (Rohay et al, 2009). The frequency of Wooded Island events has subsided with 16 events recorded during June 2009. Most of the events were considered minor (magnitude (Mc) less than 1.0) with 25 events in the 2.0-3.0 range. The estimated depths of the Wooded Island events are shallow (averaging less than 1.0 km deep) with a maximum depth estimated at 2.2 km. This places the Wooded Island events within the Columbia River Basalt Group (CRBG). The low magnitude of the Wooded Island events has made them undetectable to all but local area residents. However, some Hanford employees working within a few miles of the area of highest activity and individuals living in homes directly across the Columbia River from the swarm center have reported feeling many of the larger magnitude events. The Hanford Strong Motion Accelerometer (SMA) network was triggered numerous times by the Wooded Island swarm events. The maximum acceleration value recorded by the SMA network was approximately 3 times lower than the reportable action level for Hanford facilities (2% g) and no action was required. The swarming is likely due to pressure that has built up, cracking the brittle basalt layers within the Columbia River Basalt Formation (CRBG). Similar earthquake “swarms” have been recorded near this same location in 1970, 1975 and 1988. Prior to the 1970s, swarming may have occurred, but equipment was not in place to record those events. Quakes of this limited magnitude do not pose a risk to Hanford cleanup efforts or waste storage facilities. Since swarms of the past did not intensify in magnitude, seismologists do not expect that these events will increase in intensity. However, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) will continue to monitor the activity.},
doi = {10.2172/966299},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/966299}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2009},
month = {9}
}