Abstract

“Digital Earth” is a newly proposed concept of a 3D, real-time, dynamic representation of geographical information by integrating the techniques of remote sensing, GIS, virtual reality, and computer networking, among others. The potential impact of Digital Earth on seismological monitoring is presented by discussing the fast assessment of seismic disasters, earthquake information service to the public, and the monitoring of clandestine nuclear explosion tests. It is pointed out that Digital Earth can provide the public with an opportunity to join in seismological analysis and is an ideal platform for the combination of remote sensing information and seismological information, with both positive and negative effects associated with such “transparent” seismology. For the proposed international monitoring system (IMS), which has in recent years turned its focus to the detection of low-yield explosions and the monitoring of a nonproliferation treaty, one of the challenging problems is the integration of different monitoring schemes, including seismic, hydroacoustic, infrasound, radionuclides, and satellite remote sensing. It is foreseen that Digital Earth can provide such integration with a practical technical framework. In monitoring a CTBT, on-site inspection (OSI) is a practically difficult and politically sensitive issue. Based on the implementation of Digital Earth, a new concept, “virtual onsite inspection” (VOSI) is proposed as a generalization of the concept of OSI. It seems that Digital Earth as a future technology in the post-Internet era will have a significant impact on the development of seismology.

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