ABSTRACT

The motivation for earthquake early warning (EEW) is the fact that in many applications a few extra seconds of notice ahead of the about‐imminent strong shaking can provide significant benefit. Reducing data latencies, accelerating processing times, and tuning seismic station distributions increase time available for warning. We assess the feasibility of EEW for Hawai‘i and examine how additional stations or upgrades to existing stations can improve warning times. We designed an objective method to identify the most efficient sites for improving an existing seismic network’s coverage, taking both seismic station distribution and seismic hazard into account. The choice of locations for new seismic station sites is informed by improvements in warning time, considering the distribution of seismic hazard and exposure. New sites that improve warning time from earthquakes that are most likely to generate significant ground motions are given preference. This technique may be applied to any seismically active region and target infrastructure in which seismic hazard is spatially defined. We demonstrate this method’s use on the Island of Hawai‘i, with focus on warnings to astronomical observatories on Mauna Kea and island population centers Hilo and Kailua‐Kona. We identified 13 candidate sites for new sensors, telemetry upgrades, or new station installations that should provide an additional 1–4 s of warning for the most probable damaging earthquakes in southern Ka‘ū and northern offshore regions in which 2–14 s and <4  s of warning are currently estimated, respectively.

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