We assess the use and reliability of a source inversion of the W-phase in real-time operations at the U.S. Geological Survey National Earthquake Information Center. The three-stage inversion algorithm produces rapid and reliable estimates of moment magnitude and source mechanism for events larger than Mw 7.0 within 25 minutes of the earthquake origin time, often less, and holds great promise for vastly improving our response times to such earthquakes worldwide. The method also produces stable results (within ±0.2 units of Global Centroid Moment Tensor project estimates) for earthquakes as small as Mw 5.8 when using stations out...

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