Abstract

The occurrence of the 4–6 July 2019 Mw 6.4 and Mw 7.1 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence provided the first full‐scale test of the network and telemetry readiness of the Southern California Seismic Network (SCSN), to support the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning (EEW) system in California. ShakeAlert is a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)‐led collaboration to detect earthquakes and, when possible, to alert the public before the arrival of the strongest shaking. The SCSN performed well in its regional monitoring role for both the 4 July Mw 6.4 and the 6 July Mw 7.1 earthquakes. In the EEW role, it provided timely delivery of 5 s of P‐wave data to ShakeAlert, which issued its first alert 6.9 s after origin time. Data delivery at peak data volumes for many stations exhibited some latency, and, as a consequence, some data arrived too late for analysis by one of the EEW algorithms. We find that the average link bandwidth for each station was sufficient, because all waveform data were delivered automatically to the archive, but link capacity for many stations was insufficient for peak demand. We describe the performance of the data telemetry for the sequence, including cellular, radio, hybrid, and backhaul systems. Cellular‐based telemetry systems maintained low latency throughout strong shaking and after, but some stations, even at great distances, experienced subsequent brief increases in latency. Performance of radio links depended mostly on the signal strength of the link, with short‐distance direct shots to high‐bandwidth backhaul systems showing no latency impact, whereas stations on some long distance or marginal quality links suffered latencies of tens or hundreds of seconds. Improvements are being implemented to move telemetry links onto USGS and partner high‐bandwidth microwave systems, and to reduce dependency on less robust long‐distance radio shots.

You do not currently have access to this article.