Abstract

A reliable method for collection, display, and analysis of low-frequency geophysical data from isolated sites, which can be throughout North and South America and the Pacific Rim, has been developed for use with the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) system. Geophysical data primarily intended for earthquake hazard and crustal deformation monitoring are digitized with either 12-bit or 16-bit resolution and transmitted every 10 min through a satellite link to a bank of UNIX-based computers in Menlo Park, California. There the data are available for analysis and display within a few seconds of their transmit time. This system provides real-time monitoring of crustal deformation parameters such as tilt, strain, fault displacement, local magnetic field, crustal geochemistry, and water levels, as well as meteorological and other parameters, along faults in California and Alaska, and in volcanic regions in the western United States, Rabaul, and other locations in the New Britain region of the South Pacific. Various mathematical, statistical, and graphical algorithms process the incoming data to detect changes in crustal deformation and fault slip that may indicate the first stages of catastrophic fault failure. Alert trigger levels based on physical models, signal resolution, and previous history have been defined for particular instrument types. Computer-driven remote paging and mail systems are used to notify appropriate personnel when alarm status is reached. The system supports continuous historical records of low-frequency geophysical data, software for extensive analysis of these data, and programs for modeling fault rupture with and without seismic radiation, as well as providing an environment for real-time attempts at earthquake prediction.

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