2012 Minutes

Meeting Materials/Presentations:

DRAFT Minutes of ANSS Pacific Northwest Regional Advisory Committee

11am – 3pm, 01 May 2012, Suzzallo Library, University of Washington

Respectfully Submitted by Bill Steele


Advisory Committee Members in Attendance:

CB Crouse, Chairman (URS Corporation)

Dave Norman, State Geologist, Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

Tim Walsh, DNR

Ray Cakir, DNR

Ian Madin, Oregon Dept. of Geology and Mineral Industries [DOGAMI])

Susan Chang, City of Seattle Department of Planning & Development

John Schelling, Washington State Emergency Management Division

John Himmel, Washington State Dept. of Transportation

Tamera Biasco, FEMA Region X

TJ McDonald, Seattle Emergency Management

Bill Perkins, Shannon and Wilson


UW, USGS, and CWU scientists in attendance:

John Vidale, Director, Pacific Northwest Seismic Network

Paul Bodin, Manager, PNSN

Steve Malone, PNSN

Bill Steele, PNSN

Craig Weaver, USGS

Joan Gomberg, USGS

Tim Melbourne, Central Washington University


Copies of presentations and other meeting materials can be found on line at www.pnsn.org/Network/anss…….

CB Crouse welcomed the attendees and called the meeting to order at 11:15 AM in the Smith Room of Suzzallo Library. He turned the meeting over to John Vidale.

John Vidale provided an agenda overview and mentioned that Art Frankel was unable to attend the meeting and had provided an overview of the March 21-22 PNW National Seismic Hazard Mapping Workshop. John asked the committee and found most had attended the workshop. He would present Art’s power point if time permits.

Review of the Vidale/Bodin epoch of PNSN history.  Following an orientation period, John Vidale and Paul Bodin formally accepted the reins of responsibility for PNSN management from Steve Malone in the fall of 2007. The following activities became the foci of each following year.

  • 2007-2008: Obtain Murdock foundation funding to acquire NSF Transportable Array broadband stations. PNNL also purchases 3 Eastern Washington stations and Oregon contributes 2. Visit State Agencies, Cities and Counties in the region to introduce products, solicit feedback, and promote partnerships.
  • 2008-2010: Design and implement American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Seismic station and telemetry upgrades. Deploy Netquakes strong motion seismographs in the Puget Sound region.
  • 2011-2012: Install and debug AQMS (Advanced National Seismic System Quake Management System) to operate in tandem with the Earthworm DAS. Convert to AQMS for production earthquake processing and alarming. Develop new PNSN website (www.pnsn.org) to operate with content management software and data base engines to develop and display real-time data products for lay and scientific users.
  • Continue Netquakes deployments in the Puget Sound Region and expand to the Portland Metro area.

PNSN History Presentation (PDF)

Budget Issues:

PNSN State funding remained flat this year after a 10% cut in 2010-2011. The State however now requires staff benefits to be paid out of the grant directly instead of a separate benefit fund which means we have ~25% less money to spend from this source.

The largest source of PNSN operations funding comes from the 5 year USGS cooperative agreement and now in the third year, that funding flat. USGS Volcano hazards Program funding is flat.

CREST program funding from NOAA administered through the USGS has been cut resulting in about 112k reduction in our total ANSS funding. The USGS is working to identify funds to replace this cut but uncertainties remain.

Funding from DOE (through MSA) for monitoring Eastern Washington is still somewhat in flux. Original budget requests were reduced effecting staffing plans. These developments will alter how the 2010 budget pie looks.

On going developments:

  • The PNSN has completed the transition from the Earthworm data processing system to the new AQMS system. Work continues to improve the systems robustness, improve the associated data bases, and supporting hardware.
  • The Stanford Center Liquefaction Array has been installed and data is flowing in.
  • Negotiations and difficulties continue to arise in learning how to work and accomplish objectives within the Hanford and MSA cultures to better monitor Eastern Washington.
  • The UW is completing the search for geodesy faculty hire and continues to work with Central Washington University PANGA group.
  • The UW received ~1.8 million dollars of support from the Moore Foundation to develop a prototype earthquake early warning system for the West Coast in conjunction with continuing efforts at UC Berkeley and Cal Tech. The UW program will focus on providing warning when a Cascadia megathrust earthquake is underway. 

Progress on last years topics:

  • Stimulus funded projects completed
  • Portland strong motion monitoring enhanced
  • AQMS system and new web site launched.

Notable earthquakes continue to interest and surprise us. Last years M9 Japan Earthquake overwhelmed mitigation planning efforts for numerous coastal communities where the maximum credible earthquake was estimated to be ~ M8. Last month a M8.6 and M8.2 earthquakes occurred as a result of strike-slip faulting within the oceanic lithosphere of the Indo-Australia plate. The 8.6 event is the largest strike/slip earthquake of its kind ever recorded.

These events will generate rethinking of the potential of earthquakes in ocean plates, and how big strike slip earthquakes can grow in some environments. The series of great earthquakes over the past decade may result in more research into the possibility of global triggering effects.

Early Warning System Presentation (PDF)

Regional Research Initiatives:

NSF EAR/OCE Cascadia Initative infused ~10M split between off shore ocean bottom seismometers (100 instruments, no telemetry) and onshore instrumentation. 230 GPS stations were upgrades and made real-time at a high sample rate (for gps) of 1 sample (solution) per second. Seismic monitoring was enhanced with the reoccupation of three columns of TA stations. The PNSN had already purchased and operate 15 of these but 25 stations were reoccupied for several more years with strong motion instruments added. If we were to add these stations to the PNSN after the experiment it would cost between 300 and 750K.

Craig Weaver

Craig Weaver was next on the agenda and had recently returned from Christchurch NZ to study the impacts of last year’s earthquakes on that community. He found losses there provide important lessons for us in the Pacific Northwest.


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