Historically, California's seismic networks have contributed to emergency response efforts after major earthquakes and provided, within the limits of available technology, rapid information on seismic activity. Since the late 1980's, the information generated by the networks has included magnitude, location, identification of the fault that ruptured, and, more recently, assessment of the probability of damaging aftershocks. While useful, this information was not sufficient to support critical postearthquake emergency management decision-making. With the implementation of TriNet in 1997, this situation has changed in southern California.

In a post-Northridge assessment of seismic network performance, scientists concluded that use of new digital broadband...

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