Toward Earthquake Early Warning

Below are some of the key publications leading from the scientific discoveries making earthquake early warning possible to the public policy and legislation providing for a public warning system in the United States.

Revised technical implementation plan for the ShakeAlert system—An earthquake early warning system for the West Coast of the United States

U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1155
Authors: Given, D.D., Allen, R.M., Baltay, A.S., Bodin, P., Cochran, E.S., Creager, K., Gee, L.S., Hauksson, E., Heaton, T.H., Hellweg, M., Murray, J.R., Thomas, V.I., Toomey, D., and Yelin, T.S. Download PDF

Benefits and Costs of Earthquake Early Warning

Three lives saved, two semiconductor plants warned, one Bay Area Rapid Transit train slowed, a 1% reduction in nonfatal injuries, and a 0.25% avoidance of gas-related fire damage would each save enough money to pay for 1 year of operation of a public warning system for the entire U.S. West Coast.
Strauss and Allen, Seismological Research Letters May/June 2016, doi: 10.1785/0220150149 Download PDF

May 2014: Technical Implementation Plan for the ShakeAlert Production System—An Earthquake Early Warning System for the West Coast of the United States

USGS Open File Report 2014-1097 detailing what is needed to implement a public earthquake early warning system for the US west coast.
Authors: D.D. Given, E.S. Cochran, T. Heaton, E. Hauksson, R. Allen, P. Hellweg, J. Vidale, and P. Bodin
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October 2013: Seconds count -- Nature

The United States should install an earthquake early-warning system now — and before the next big one hits, says Richard Allen.
Allen, Nature 502, 29-31, doi:10.1038/502029a, 2013.
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September 2013: Senate Bill No. 135 signed into law

California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 135 by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), which requires that the Office of Emergency Services develop a comprehensive statewide earthquake early warning system to alert Californians in advance of dangerous shaking.
The legislation also directs the Office of Emergency Services to identify a source of funding for the system.
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April 2011: Seconds before the big one -- Scientific American

Earthquake detection systems can sound the alarm in the moments before a big tremor strikes—time enough to save lives
Allen, Scientific American
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2009: Two special issue volumes about earthquake early warning in key geophysical journals

A total of 17 articles in the two issues including an overview of earthquake early warning around the world [Allen et al. SRL 2009], and a report of the first alert generated for a California earthquake by ElarmS [Allen et al. GRL 2009].

May 2003: The Potential for Earthquake Early Warning in Southern California -- Science

Here we outline the earthquake early warning concept for the United States and detail how the ElarmS warning algorithm could provide alerts if implemented on the real-time seismic networks.
Allen and Kanamori, Science, 300, 786-789, 2003.
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Technical Publications