Real-time earthquake alert system for the greater San Francisco Bay Area: a prototype design to address operational issues
Description: The purpose of the earthquake alert system (EAS) is to outrun the seismic energy released in a large earthquake using a geographically distributed network of strong motion sensors that telemeter data to a rapid CPU-processing station, which then issues an area-wide warning to a region before strong motion will occur. The warning times involved are short, from 0 to 30 seconds or so; consequently, most responses must be automated. The San Francisco Bay Area is particularly well suited for an EAS because (1) large earthquakes have relatively shallow hypocenters (10- to 20-kilometer depth), giving favorable ray-path geometries for larger warning times than deeper from earthquakes, and (2) the active faults are few in number and well characterized, which means far fewer geographically distributed strong motion sensors are (about 50 in this region). An EAS prototype is being implemented in the San Francisco Bay Area. The system consists of four distinct subsystems: (1) a distributed strong motion seismic network, (2) a central processing station, (3) a warning communications system and (4) user receiver and response systems. We have designed a simple, reliable, and inexpensive strong motion monitoring station that consists of a three-component Analog Devices ADXLO5 accelerometer sensing unit, a vertical component weak motion sensor for system testing, a 16-bit digitizer with multiplexing, and communication output ports for RS232 modem or radio telemetry. The unit is battery-powered and will be sited in fire stations. The prototype central computer analysis system consists of a PC dam-acquisition platform that pipes the incoming strong motion data via Ethernet to Unix-based workstations for dam processing. Simple real-time algorithms, particularly for magnitude estimation, are implemented to give estimates of the time since the earthquake`s onset its hypocenter location, its magnitude, and the reliability of the estimate. These parameters are calculated and transmitted with frequent updates as ...
Date: December 10, 1996
Creator: Harben, P.E.; Jarpe, S. & Hunter, S.
Item Type: Refine your search to only Article
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department