Status of PNW Region of ANSS as of Jan. 2001
By: Steve Malone, PNW Coordinator
It has been six months since the initial organizing meeting of the Pacific Northwest ANSS. When volunteers were solicited for participation on the PNW steering committee last June, I had assumed that things would move in the region much faster than they have. This December, the newly organized National ANSS Committees provided the guidance I had sought before moving to the next phase of regional development. It is now critical that we implement some local planning to get this important new organization launched and operating.
A February meeting has been scheduled of the Regional Advisory Committee to set up the objectives of this committee and to establish priorities for network activity this year.
Bulleted below is a brief update of the national and regional developments that have occurred since June. For more information about these items, I have included the appropriate website addresses.
Last November, Congress passed a bill in full support for the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program. ~$30M /year was authorized as ANSS funding to be distributed through the USGS. The appropriations bill containing the 2001 USGS budget included ANSS funding of $3.6M, which is $2.0M more than last year.
Last summer, the PNSN installed twenty strong-motion seismographs in the Puget Sound area. Nineteen of these transmit real-time data to the PNSN recording center. Twenty new strong-motion instruments are designated for the Pacific Northwest in FY 2001. Plans are underway to site these additional strong-motion instruments including some in large structures.
"ShakeMap" has been imported from California and adapted for use in the Pacific Northwest. This system is still undergoing several technical improvements and it should provide useful information the next time there is a medium sized to large event in western Washington.
All ANSS regions but the Northeast have held initial planning workshops. The regional coordinators held their first meeting in December and are participating in monthly phone conferences.
The ANSS Technical Integration Committee has formed key subcommittees to work on the technical aspects of integrating all seismic networks into one comprehensive system.
The National Steering committee has been formed and will hold an initial meeting in February.
Based on direction provided by the national ANSS regional coordinators at their December meeting, the PNW regional organizational structure is being separated into advisory and oversight aspects. As the acting regional coordinator, I have developed an organizational chart that shows the separation into Operators and Advisors and the composition and responsibilities of each group. The Working Group (operating division) is comprised of key individuals currently operating seismograph networks in the region. The Advisory committee is composed of seismic information and data users, including many of the participants in the June workshop.
C.B. Crouse from URS Corporation has agreed to serve as this year's chairman of the PNW ANSS Advisory Committee. The chairman will oversee the development of the advisory committee. Following is a list of pressing tasks, in order of priority, which serve as the agenda for the February meeting. Once finalized, the PNW Advisory Committee will use discretion in reviewing and amending these objectives as needed.
Membership: Define the advisory committee's membership making sure that it is populated with the appropriate cross section of engineers, emergency managers, scientists, planners, etc. Determine an optimal number of members so that the committee is manageable and define a mechanism for replacing or changing membership in a systematic way.
Instrumentation Location: Organize a subcommittee of engineers, strong-motion seismologists; etc to review the locations of the strong-motion instruments installed last summer. This group should provide comments and suggestions about the adequacy for engineering purposes of the current sites. This review might include recommendations for moving current sites and/or guidelines for future sites. Early review results need to be submitted by March so that they can be utilized in the planning of FY 2001 sites. Craig Weaver and Paul Grant have begun to discuss this issue and plan to stay involved.
Northwest Centers: A subcommittee of policy people should be organized to address the possibility of establishing satellite recording/operational centers. Geographic areas within the PNW requiring a satellite center should be identified. In particular, Oregon and Idaho Seismologists have asked to be more closely involved in network operation activities. Local experts can optimize information dissemination in their regions.
Financing: Establish a subcommittee of policy people to address financing network development and operations. Should the USGS finance, through congressional appropriated ANSS funds, all aspects of the regional operations? Potential contributor/participants should be identified and methodologies for getting them involved should be addressed.
Products and Services: Assemble a subcommittee to review PNSN products including examining our electronic media, publications, and information services. This team will propose improvements and offer suggestions on how our products and services could fit within the national program.
Anyone with comments about any of these topics should contact a committee member to express your opinion.