EEW Workshop 2013

PNSN Earthquake Early Warning Workshop

February 27th, 2013 at the University of Washington

Meeting Objectives

Meeting Notes

The PNSN will hold a workshop at the UW to discuss the prototype earthquake early warning (EEW) system in the Pacific Northwest this coming February 27th. The workshop will assemble scientists and about 40 potential users from State, Provincial and Federal agencies, utilities, and corporations.
The PNSN, with support from the Moore Foundation and the USGS, will build a prototype system to recognize M8 to M9 earthquakes on the Cascadia Fault along the coast to send warnings to the Puget Sound and other vulnerable regions. We hope to recognize the start of earthquakes within 10-30 seconds, which can provide warning of 1 to 4 minutes before the strongest shaking reaches cities and factories.
We expect this system will begin to work within a year. We will initially only alert emergency managers. We do not plan to alert the general public, as more groundwork is necessary to establish efficient channels for public distribution of alerts and public education on the proper way to react to an alert.
Within a few more years, if it warrants the investment, we will build a system to provide the seconds to tens of seconds warning possible for the earthquakes more nearby.


 A summary of the West Coast EEW effort is online at this link.


In this workshop, we will discuss the most useful path forward to develop EEW, and we plan to forge partnerships with a half dozen companies to test the prototype that is under development.


10am - noon

Introduction – Lisa Graumlich, Dean, College of the Environment

The West Coast EEW prototype – Cyndi Atherton, G&B Moore Foundation

Earthquake EEW Technologies and experience (global overview) - Allen (20)

US (California so far) effort and structure - Given (20)

PNW Tectonic background - Vidale (10)

PNW status and plan - Bodin (10)

(each presentation will be followed by ~10 minutes of discussion)

Lunch (noon to 1pm)

1pm - 2pm

Disperse into six or so break-out groups, pre-assigned to cross-cut expertise, each focusing on one topic, but also discussing rest as time permit. Each group will have self-select a discussion leader and note-taker.

1.  Actual product, levels of certainty and forewarning that are useful?

Product - magnitude, location, shaking intensity expected, time until shaking

Uncertainty - (a) whether event happened, (b) intensity accuracy, (c) likelihood of event breaking up the coast.

2.  Which groups are ready for warnings?

(a) Emergency managers, (b) companies, (c) the public, (d) news outlets

3.  What groundwork is necessary to improve penetration of alerts?

(a) Public education, (b) better warning standardization, (c) USGS workshops

4.  What are the means of warning distribution?

(a) texts, (b) web page, (c) direct pushed signals, (d) TV, (e) loudspeakers, (f) cell phones, (g) PAWS

5.  How can we define cost vs benefit for sensible planning?

6.  Are there implementation issues between the PNW, California, and Canada?

2pm – 3:30pm

Reports from the break-out groups and discussion

3:30pm – 4pm

Discussion of path forward – Vidale

4pm – 6pm

Casual discussions, wine, and beer - Magnolia Room, W Tower

Venue - rooms with a view atop the W Tower

Seismogram from 2011 Japan earthquake converted to 3-D sculpture, Luke Jerram.