ABSTRACT

Earthquake early warning (EEW) is an application of seismological science that can give people, as well as mechanical and electrical systems, up to tens of seconds to take protective actions before peak earthquake shaking arrives at a location. Since 2006, the U.S. Geological Survey has been working in collaboration with several partners to develop EEW for the United States. The goal is to create and operate an EEW system, called ShakeAlert, for the highest risk areas of the United States, starting with the West Coast states of California, Oregon, and Washington. In early 2016, the Production Prototype v.1.0 was established for California; then, in early 2017, v.1.2 was established for the West Coast, with earthquake notifications being distributed to a group of beta users in California, Oregon, and Washington. The new ShakeAlert Production Prototype was an outgrowth from an earlier demonstration EEW system that began sending test notifications to selected users in California in January 2012. ShakeAlert leverages the considerable physical, technical, and organizational earthquake monitoring infrastructure of the Advanced National Seismic System, a nationwide federation of cooperating seismic networks. When fully implemented, the ShakeAlert system may reduce damage and injury caused by large earthquakes, improve the nation’s resilience, and speed recovery.

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