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.

Earthquake Early Warning: Advances, Scientific Challenges, and Societal Needs

Allen, R.M., D. Melgar, Earthquake Early Warning: Advances, Scientific Challenges, and Societal Needs. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 47:361–88, 2019.
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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