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The Virtual Seismologist in SeisComP3: A New Implementation Strategy for Earthquake Early Warning Algorithms

Behr, Yannik and Clinton, John F. and Cauzzi, Carlo and Hauksson, Egill and Jónsdóttir, Kristín and Marius, Craiu G. and Pinar, Ali and Salichon, Jerome and Sokos, Efthimios (2016) The Virtual Seismologist in SeisComP3: A New Implementation Strategy for Earthquake Early Warning Algorithms. Seismological Research Letters, 87 (2A). pp. 363-373. ISSN 0895-0695. doi:10.1785/0220150235.

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The feasibility of earthquake early warning (EEW) is now widely recognized. However, EEW systems that are in operation or under evaluation worldwide have significant variations and are usually operated independently of routine earthquake monitoring. We introduce a software that allows testing and evaluation of a well‐known EEW algorithm directly within a widely used earthquake monitoring software platform. In the long term, we envision this approach can lead to (1) an easier transition from prototype to production type EEW implementations, (2) a natural and seamless evolution from very fast EEW source parameter estimates with typically large uncertainties to more delayed but more precise estimates using more traditional analysis methods, and (3) the capability of seismic networks to evaluate the readiness of their network for EEW, and to implement EEW, without having to invest in and maintain separate, independent software systems. Using the Virtual Seismologist (VS), a popular EEW algorithm that has been tested in real time in California since 2008, we demonstrate how our approach can be realized within the widely used monitoring platform SeisComP3. Because this software suite is already in production at many seismic networks worldwide, we have been able to test the new VS implementation across a wide variety of tectonic settings and network infrastructures. Using mainly real‐time performance, we analyze over 3200 events with magnitudes between 2.0 and 6.8 and show that, for shallow crustal seismicity, 68% of the first VS magnitude estimates are within ±0.5 magnitude units of the final reported magnitude. We further demonstrate the very significant effect of data communication strategies on final alert times. Using a Monte Carlo simulation approach, we then model the best possible alert times for optimally configured EEW systems and show that, for events within the dense parts of each of the seven test networks, effective warnings could be issued for magnitudes as small as M 5.0.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Material
Clinton, John F.0000-0001-8626-2703
Hauksson, Egill0000-0002-6834-5051
Additional Information:© 2016 Seismological Society of America. We thank Editor, Renate Hartog and two anonymous reviewers for their detailed and constructive comments. which helped to improve this article. Funding for this work came from the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme projects “Strategies and Tools for Real Time EArthquake RisK Reduction” (REAKT) and “Network of European Research Infrastructures for Earthquake Risk Assessment and Mitigation” (NERA). The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation provided funding for the Caltech effort.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
European Commission Seventh Framework ProgrammeUNSPECIFIED
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:2A
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160412-152200217
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Official Citation:Yannik Behr, John F. Clinton, Carlo Cauzzi, Egill Hauksson, Kristín Jónsdóttir, Craiu G. Marius, Ali Pinar, Jerome Salichon, and Efthimios Sokos The Virtual Seismologist in SeisComP3: A New Implementation Strategy for Earthquake Early Warning Algorithms Seismological Research Letters, March/March 2016, v. 87, p. 363-373, doi:10.1785/0220150235
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:66094
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:12 Apr 2016 22:53
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 23:53

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