How does ShakeAlert work and how can it be used?
ShakeAlert (www.shakealert.org) is an experimental earthquake early warning system that can give vital time to get to safety after an earthquake occurs. This animation demonstrates how ShakeAlert works by showing how P & S waves are used to locate and measure earthquakes, then send notice to your location about arrival times of potentially damaging waves. The 2014 M6 Napa earthquake showed how even a few seconds can be life saving. The animation also shows how ShakeAlert would work for a large M7.8 earthquake on the southern San Andreas fault.
Made by IRIS in collaboration with the University of Portland, UC Berkeley, Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), and US Geological Survey.
ShakeAlert works by
- Detecting P waves arriving at seismometers closest to the earthquake
- Sending those signals at the speed of light to a computer system that determines earthquake location and travel times of both P and S waves to your location
- Alerting you how much time remains before potentially damaging S waves will arrive