RAC Meeting 2010

Minutes of ANSS Pacific Northwest Regional Advisory Committee

12 May 2010 (convened at the University of Washington Seismology Lab)

Minutes prepared by Tom Yelin w/ review & additions by John Vidale

Action Items

1. Keep C.B. Crouse & Bill Perkins in the loop on decisions regarding instrumentation at the Stanford Liquefactions Array site, both surface and borehole instrumentations.
2. Keep the engineering community in the loop on discussions regarding the siting of future liquefaction arrays in the region, when and if such projects.
3. Ray Cakir and DNR will be submitting a NEHRP proposal for additional site characterization studies. They welcome input from the seismological and engineering community on selection of sites to be studied. They may also be able to make some adjustments to the site selection for their current study.
4. Distribute current Netquakes deployment plan (for the second round of deployment).
5. Meeting of structural subcommittee about to discuss the best approach to improving the building monitoring situation in Portland. (Vicki McConnell is taking the lead on this.)
6. Cooperate with the Portland media to produce a story about Netquakes and the opportunity for deployment in the Portland area. (Later)
7. John Vidale will draft a letter to Bill Leith (to be signed by C.B and John) urging that USGS ANSS/EHP upper level managers contact seismologists and engineers to Chile to urge them to release strong motion and other data for the M8.8 earthquake as quickly as possible. (already done)
8. Talk to Eric Holdeman about port security needs and opportunities.(already done, but probably more security than hazard goals.)John Vidale began by reviewing the meeting agenda and giving a brief account of the past year at the PNSN. Since our meeting a year ago, Art Frankel has moved to Seattle.
These topics discussed last year have received less emphasis this year: structural monitoring; aftershock probabilities; and ShakeCast. One-time ARRA projects and software upgrades have forced us to put these projects lower in the priority list.
John made some brief comments about the M7.6 Padang Indonesia earthquake as an analog to the Nisqually earthquake and its similar predecessors.


State Funding
In 2009 the State cut its support for the PNSN by about 9% to $365K/yr. This year state funding for PNSN is likely to be cut 5%. A larger cut is possible. Significant cuts would require PNSN pare back non-core efforts. The ANSS projects farthest from core earthquake hazard mitigation are the Netquakes deployment and volcano monitoring, in Vidale’s view. Later in the month, we learned that our State budget is ok this year, although next year might be less favorable.

Federal ongoing funding
The PNSN has just begun the first year of a five-year cooperative funding agreement with the USGS for ANSS regional seismic monitoring. The PNSN did not receive the additional $60K/year it requested for operational and maintenance costs for the approximately 20 new broadband stations that were purchased with Murdoch Trust grant. With the exception of one-time federal stimulus (aka ARRA) funds, USGS support of the PNSN remains approximately level.

PNSN funding from the USGS volcano hazards program is $120K/year, which includes funding for a new grad student position. This offsets the loss of funding for one graduate student from the Earthquake Hazards program.

Funding from NOAA for the seismic component of the tsunami warning in the Pacific Northwest is $75K/year in 2010 and 2011, which represents level funding.

AARA one-time Funding

ANSS $600K to PNSN for various improvements to the network, including the hiring of temporary help and contractors to do seismic station upgrades and upgrades to radio telemetry sites (tower work). The USGS will purchase $600K of seismic sensors and seismic data loggers and ancillary equipment to be used to upgrade approximately 40 PNSN stations.

Volcano Hazards $220K to PNSN for a technician/scientist to improve volcano seismic monitoring methodology, to upgrade some volcano monitoring instruments and to improve volcano monitoring telemetry nodes.

Paul Bodin's report on current operations

Paul reminded us that the PNSN is really a partnership of the USGS (including the NEIC and Cascades Volcano Observatory), the University of Oregon (UO) and Hanford. The Incorporated Research Institutions in Seismology (IRIS), and Alaska and Pacific Tsunami Warning Centers also work with the PNSN to achieve shared goals.

Paul presented a possible view of the future for an expanded PNSN with greater broadband and strong-motion instrumentation. This caused Craig Weaver to raise the question: do we want additional broadband seismic stations in eastern Oregon? We discussed this matter but came to no definite recommendation as to how many such stations should be added.

A copy of the ANSS network performance metrics was given to all the attendees.

The PNSN is making a staged conversion to a new seismic data acquisition and analysis system. The new acquisition system is called AQMS (pronounced Occam’s) and the new analysis software is called “Jiggle”. This project required a major upgrade of computer hardware and add new robust redundancy in some core functions.

Weaver questioned the ability of urban ANSS networks (including the PNSN) to function in the aftermath of a large nearby earthquake. Currently data from about 20 PNSN stations are sent in real time to the NEIC in Golden, CO. There are plans to increase this number and set up a new communications link to Golden. IRIS backs up all PNSN data in near real time. The PNSN is also working on a revised Continuity of Operations Plan (COO). Vidale emphasized need for the PNSN to continue to talk with emergency managers about their needs, which has been a focus of Joan Gomberg and Craig Weaver.

Some questions were asked about merging CIIM (Community Internet Intensity Map) data into Shakemap. PNSN is working toward this integration.

Paul mentioned that AltaRock, a geothermal energy development company has contacted him about issue of seismic monitoring near exploratory holes they plan to drill near the Newberry National Volcanic Monument in central Oregon and in Snohomish County, Washington.

Vicki McConnell noted the need for adequate seismic monitoring of geothermal operations.

Dave Nelson, Washington Military Department, Emergency Management Division (EMD) EMD will be offering three or four ATC post-earthquake building screening classes. (EMD Earthquake Program Manager John Schelling was unable to attend due to making a presentation at a workshop in Puerto Rico this week.)

Tim Walsh, Dept. of Natural Resources, Geology and Earth Resources Division Tim Walsh reported on recent activities of the state Seismic Safety Commission. The SSC is working with Western Washington University to research the creation of better public policy regarding earthquake hazard mitigation. It will be modeled on the Bay Area SPUR (SF Planning & Urban Research) plan, but cover the entire State and be based on a set of representative earthquake scenarios.

Another project is underway, involving EMD, some structural engineers and building officials to use HAZUS to assess the vulnerability of schools in the Walla Walla and Aberdeen school districts. As part of this project Vs30 measurements will be made at these schools.

Tim noted that a scenario Walla Walla earthquake would be useful for this effort. Will Frankel provide?

Ray Cakir (EMD/DNR) Ray and his group have completed a suite of site characterization studies.

They are preparing a proposal to study 20 other sites (to be selected from current National Strong Motion Program stations in Washington). CB Crouse recommended that they go as deep as their method allows.

Weaver noted a lack of sustained ANSS funding for site characterizations, which he noted could be more effective than the current necessity to apply to the external grants program each year.

Vicki McConnell, Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) Oregon’s seismic rehabilitation grant program has distributed $15M to 13 public schools and 11 emergency facilities. This work is funded by state bonds.

O-DOT has completed a seismic vulnerability study of Oregon bridges using a scenario-based (not HAZUS) analysis. They need to do further work to specify the most critical lifelines to prioritize mitigation efforts.

Lidar–based surface geologic mapping, in partnership with the USGS, is proceeding in the Portland area (1:100K scale).

DOGAMI has started a Mt. Hood drainage risk assessment, which includes plans to trench a Quaternary fault scarp on lower north flank of Mt. Hood.

Rob Witter of DOGAMI traveled to Chile to participate in a post-earthquake reconnaissance. New tsunami mapping of entire OR coast is scheduled for completion by 2012. The Oregon Lidar consortium plans to acquire about 6300 square miles of new mapping for Oregon in 2011 – 2013.

USGS Multi-hazard efforts

Craig Weaver gave a report of USGS multi-hazard funding in the Pacific Northwest PNW). It is possible that in federal FY2011, $300K may be available to purchase and deploy additional Netquakes instruments in the PNW. He also gave a brief report of the genesis of and progress toward installing an enhanced liquefaction array in the area south of downtown Seattle, largely funded by this and next year’s multi-hazards programs.

Weaver says USGS doesn’t want to make recordings of small earthquakes readily available to engineering community. This unavailability presents problems for engineers in the Northwest, who are interested in seeing ground motions for regional earthquakes in the M = 4.0 -4.9, or perhaps even smaller.

Weaver also brought up co-ordination or lack thereof b/w PNSN, Canadian and other catalogs. There are some interesting differences in events detected, magnitudes, and locations for events in the regions of overlap. In addition, protocols for response could re-visiting.

Eric Holdeman – mentioned the availability of millions of dollars in maritime security funds from Feds. Applying for these would require a letter of intent by June. Ports could readily use seismic monitoring, as the potential of liquefaction in the ports is a serious threat to the economy of Washington State.

Tim Melbourne, Central Washington University

Tim gave a report on the regional GPS network. Currently there are ~400 stations from the Oregon-California border up through British Columbia.

PANGA (the Pacific Northwest Geodetic Array) received USGS ARRA funding to create a “GPS cockpit” for near real time GPS data analysis for seismic source parameters. PANGA will also use ARRA funds to harden telemetry lines for select stations.

Tim showed examples of high frequency GPS time series for the recent Baja California earthquake to illustrate the potential that GPS data has for rapid earthquake source parameter estimates.

John Vidale - PNSN

Vidale summarized a National Science Foundation initiative (funded by recovery act funds) has led to reinstrumentation of 25 Transportable Array sites near the Cascadia Coast. For about $500K, PNSN can buy the instruments at these sites (and gain the site infrastructure for free) after four or five years. The instrumentation is ideal for this purpose, coming already equipped with strongmotion as well as broadband sensors.

The same initiative will provide upgrades of 230 onshore GPS stations to highsample- rate and realtime data availability, ready for inclusion in PNSN earthquake monitoring.

Congressman Norm Dicks was told by John and Paul that an earthquake early warning (EEW) system could be constructed in the PNW for about $40M over 5- 10 years. A necessary follow-on was raised: if the seismologists deliver on EEW how will everyone (public officials) use it properly?

Art Frankel USGS Seattle

Art has produced 15 scenario WA earthquake studies with PGA, PGV and spectral acceleration. Where available, Vs30 data were used to estimate site amplification. He also did smaller number of scenario earthquakes in Oregon.

He reported on plans for the next update of national seismic hazard maps, which are tentatively planned to be completed in 2015.

As a prelude to this goal, he is making plans for 2011 PNW regional workshop to discuss source models, faults, attenuation relations. He said the working group on PNW faults should be revived. The probability of various megathrust scenarios, in particular, need evaluation of best guesses and uncertainties.

Art continues to work on Portland urban seismic hazard maps (in cooperation with DOGAMI). He also made some comments about the need to improve 3-D velocity models to make progress in subduction zone earthquake wave modeling.

Finally he showed amplification plots from his portable array data and showed some preliminary data from the Chile earthquake (courtesy of Chilean seismologists). Art also raised the question of whether or not basin amplification effects should be incorporated into building codes.

Other issues raised at meeting

Vidale - Future of monitoring in eastern Washington is in a state of flux.

University of Nevada (Reno) and the UW have drafted an eastern Washington monitoring plan that might be executed under the MSA (Mission SupportAlliance) management, or the current less ambitious monitoring may continue, or something else might happen.

Portland strong motion issues

McConnell and Vidale Information guessed from visits by Lucy Walsh to Portland and DOGAMI inquiries - 40-50 buildings had to either install 3 or more instruments or contribute to DOGAMI strong-motion instrumentation plan. There are records that 10 or so contributed.

So maybe 30-40 buildings have been instrumented but only 7 are verified and none have been inspected for functionality. Most likely, all have dead batteries.

Very recently, a list of building owners who contributed cash has been found.

Some relevant questions: Are instruments installed in buildings of any use? Exactly what instrumentation is present? Are the batteries all dead?

Is the current law really useful, i.e., does it make sense to continue this requirement (assuming that adequate resources will go into enforcement and record keeping).

It would be useful to have assessing situation before choosing siting of next round of strong motion instruments in Portland.

There was a suggestion to talk w/ Oregonian science writers to plan article about Netquakes.

Vicki McConnell is planning to investigate further, perhaps with the support of the ANSS-PNW Structural Monitoring subcommittee.

Next meeting -- a year from now. Subcommittees should meet sooner.

List of adendees:

Advisory Committee
C.B. Crouse, Chairman URS Corporation;
Debbie Bailey Pierce County Department of Emergency Management
Tim Melbourne - Central Washington University/ Pacific Northwest Geodetic Array (PANGA)
Bill Perkins - Shannon and Wilson
Susan Chang - City of Seattle Dept. of Planning & Development
Eric Holdeman - Port of Tacoma
Luke Meyer - City of Bellevue
George Comstock - WA Dept. of Transportation – bridge division
Vicki D. McConnell - Oregon Dept. of Geology and Mineral Industries
Dave Nelson- WA Emergency Management Department
Precep (Ray) Cakir - WA Dept. of Natural Resources – Division of Geology and Earth Resources
Tim Walsh - WA Dept. of Natural Resources – Division of Geology and Earth Resources

Pacific Northwest Seismic Network
John Vidale - Director, ANSS Regional Coordinator
Paul Bodin - Manager
Bill Steele - Information Officer
Steve Malone - Emeritus Director

USGS Personnel, Seattle
Craig Weaver - Pacific Northwest Coordinator for the Earthquake Hazards Program
Art Frankel
Joan Gomberg
Tom Yelin

Guest observers
Silvio DeAngelis - PNSN
Mariangela Sciotto - Visiting scientist from University of Catania