Second Quarter Hanford Seismic Report for Fiscal Year 2009

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The Hanford Seismic Assessment Program (HSAP) provides an uninterrupted collection of high-quality raw and processed seismic data from the Hanford Seismic Network for the U.S. Department of Energy and its contractors. The HSAP is responsible for locating and identifying sources of seismic activity and monitoring changes in the historical pattern of seismic activity at the Hanford Site. The data are compiled, archived, and published for use by the Hanford Site for waste management, natural phenomena hazards assessments, and engineering design and construction. In addition, the HSAP works with the Hanford Site Emergency Services Organization to provide assistance in the event ... continued below

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Rohay, Alan C.; Sweeney, Mark D.; Hartshorn, Donald C.; Clayton, Ray E. & Devary, Joseph L. July 31, 2009.

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Description

The Hanford Seismic Assessment Program (HSAP) provides an uninterrupted collection of high-quality raw and processed seismic data from the Hanford Seismic Network for the U.S. Department of Energy and its contractors. The HSAP is responsible for locating and identifying sources of seismic activity and monitoring changes in the historical pattern of seismic activity at the Hanford Site. The data are compiled, archived, and published for use by the Hanford Site for waste management, natural phenomena hazards assessments, and engineering design and construction. In addition, the HSAP works with the Hanford Site Emergency Services Organization to provide assistance in the event of a significant earthquake on the Hanford Site. The Hanford Seismic Network and the Eastern Washington Regional Network consist of 44 individual sensor sites and 15 radio relay sites maintained by the Hanford Seismic Assessment Team. The Hanford Seismic Network recorded over 800 local earthquakes during the second quarter of FY 2009. Nearly all of these earthquakes were detected in the vicinity of Wooded Island, located about eight miles north of Richland just west of the Columbia River. Most of the events were considered minor (magnitude (Mc) less than 1.0) with 19 events in the 2.0-2.9 range. The estimated depths of the Wooded Island events are shallow (averaging less than 1.0 km deep) with a maximum depth estimated at 1.9 km. This places the Wooded Island events within the Columbia River Basalt Group (CRBG). The low magnitude and the shallowness of the Wooded Island events have made them undetectable to most area residents. However, some Hanford employees working within a few miles of the area of highest activity, and individuals living in homes directly across the Columbia River from the swarm center, have reported feeling some movement. The Hanford SMA network was triggered numerous times by the Wooded Island swarm events. The maximum acceleration values recorded by the SMA network were approximately 2-3 times lower than the reportable action level for Hanford facilities (2% g) and no action was required. The swarming is likely due to pressures that have built up, cracking the brittle basalt layers within the Columbia River Basalt Formation (CRBG). Similar earthquake “swarms” have been recorded near this same location in 1970, 1975 and 1988. Prior to the 1970s, swarming may have occurred, but equipment was not in place to record those events. Quakes of this limited magnitude do not pose a risk to Hanford cleanup efforts or waste storage facilities. Since swarms of the past did not intensify in magnitude, seismologists do not expect that these events will increase in intensity. However, PNNL will continue to monitor the activity continuously. Outside of the Wooded Island swarm, four earthquakes were recorded. Three earthquakes were classified as minor and one event registered 2.3 Mc. One earthquake was located at intermediate depth (between 4 and 9 km, most likely in the pre-basalt sediments) and three earthquakes at depths greater than 9 km, within the basement. Geographically, two earthquakes were located in known swarm areas and two earthquakes were classified as random events.

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  • Report No.: PNNL-18633
  • Grant Number: AC05-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/982573 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 982573
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1015128

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • July 31, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 14, 2017, 8:36 a.m.

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  • Oct. 25, 2017, 4:17 p.m.

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Rohay, Alan C.; Sweeney, Mark D.; Hartshorn, Donald C.; Clayton, Ray E. & Devary, Joseph L. Second Quarter Hanford Seismic Report for Fiscal Year 2009, report, July 31, 2009; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1015128/: accessed November 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.