One of the challenges facing the committee in its analysis of the potential economic benefits of improved seismic monitoring was to understand, first, how to quantify those benefits that are quantifiable and second, how to give appropriate credit to those benefits that cannot realistically be quantified but are nevertheless valid economic benefits to the nation. Given the time constraints and the nature of the project, the committee concluded that a compilation of the broad range of potential benefits—quantified where possible—was the most appropriate and useful contribution it could make. The committee’s analysis and conclusions, described in the following chapters, discuss the contribution that scientific monitoring provides for decision-making (Chapter 2); the economic context for benefit calculation (Chapter 3); and the benefits of seismic monitoring information for hazard prediction and assessment (Chapter 4), loss estimation (Chapter 5), performance-based engineering (Chapter 6), and emergency response and recovery (Chapter 7). These various benefits are then integrated to form the basis for the committee’s overall conclusions, presented in Chapter 8. Although the specific charge to the committee was to evaluate the economic benefits of seismic monitoring, it was clear to the committee that decisions regarding the allocation of resources for improved seismic monitoring must also take into account the costs of improved monitoring. Accordingly, some measures of the cost-effectiveness of seismic monitoring are presented in this report.

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