New York Times 2013/03/21 (A. Nagourney)
Progress Stalls in California on Earthquake Warnings
PASADENA, Calif. - Scientists at the Caltech Seismology Laboratory were at their computers last week when a warning popped up on the screen: Earthquake, earthquake! The initial magnitude of the quake, 100 miles away, was 5.2, the alert said, and a countdown clock warned that mild shaking would reach here in 40 seconds...
Maren Boese, a research fellow at Caltech, demonstrating an earthquake simulation along the San Andreas Fault.
E&S Caltech 2013/06/15 (K. Neith)
Can We Predict Earthquakes?
...ShakeAlert utilizes a network of seismometers - instruments that measure ground motion - widely scattered across the western states. In California, that network of sensors is called the California Integrated Seismic Network (CISN) and is made up of computerized seismometers that send ground-motion data back to research centers like the Seismological Laboratory at Caltech.
'When an earthquake occurs, seismic waves radiate away from the source, like the waves on a pond after you've thrown a rock into the water,' explains Maren Boese, a senior research fellow in the Seismo Lab. 'Our computer algorithms can analyze these waves and can predict where strong shaking will occur so quickly that an automated warning can be sent to more distant sites before the waves - and the shaking they cause - arrive. It's mainly a very fast information system...'
Caltech 2012 Annual Report Feature Story 2013/05/01
Breaking New Ground in Forecasting Natural Disasters
When a major earthquake strikes, just a few seconds's warning can save lives, allowing people in harm's way to prepare themselves before the shaking starts, which is why so many of Caltech's seismologists are working to create systems that can alert the public when some serious shaking is imminent. The Institute was one of three schools awarded a $2 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation in 2012 to create a prototype earthquake early warning system for the Pacific Coast The result is a prototype system called ShakeAlert, spearheaded at Caltech by Thomas Heaton, director of the Earthquake Engineering Research Lab and professor of engineering seismology; Jim Beck, George W. Housner Professor of Engineering and Applied Science; and Maren Boese, a senior research fellow in the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences. Early results on the ShakeAlert system have shown that it can give up to 60 seconds warning before the waves from a powerful quake hit.
Maren Bӧse, Phd
Senior ReseaRch Fellow