The Potential for Earthquake Early Warning in Southern California

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Science  02 May 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5620, pp. 786-789
DOI: 10.1126/science.1080912

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Earthquake mitigation efforts in the United States currently use long-term probabilistic hazard assessments and rapid post-earthquake notification to reduce the potential damage of earthquakes. Here we present the seismological design for and demonstrate the feasibility of a short-term hazard warning system. Using data from past earthquakes, we show that our Earthquake Alarm System (ElarmS) could, with current TriNet instrumentation, issue a warning a few to tens of seconds ahead of damaging ground motion. The system uses the frequency content of the P-wave arrival to determine earthquake magnitude, an approach that allows magnitude determination before any damaging ground motion occurs.

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