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ASSESSING THE NATION'S EARTHQUAKES The Health and Future of Regional Seismograph Networks Pane} on Regional Networks Committee on Seismology Board on Earth Sciences and Resources Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1990

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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the further- ance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of the appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Samuel O. Thier is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's pur- poses of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal oper- ating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engi- neering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chainnan, respectively, of the National Research Council. Support for this project was provided under general funds for the Committee on Seismol- ogy through the following agencies: the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. COVER: Art courtesy of Tanya George, Center for Earthquake Research and Information, Memphis State University. Depicted is the transmission of seismic data from national network stations to a satellite in stationary orbit. The data are then relayed to the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colorado. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 90-61573 International Standard Book Number 0-309-04291-7 Additional copies of this report are available from National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418 S157 Printed in the United States of America

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PANEL ON REGIONAL NETWORKS ARCH C. JOHNSTON, Memphis State University, Chairman WALTER J. ARABASZ, University of Utah GILBERT A. BOLLINGER, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University JOHN R. FILSON, U.S. Geological Survey ROBERT B. HERRMANN, St. Louis University LUCILE JONES, U.S. Geological Survey HIROO KANAMORI, California Institute of Technology NRC Staff WILLIAM E. BENSON, Consultant BARBARA W. WRIGHT, Senior Program Assistant Liaison Members RALPH W. ALWINE III, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency CLIFFORD ASTILL, National Science Foundation MIRIAM BALTUCK, National Aeronautics and Space Administration MICHAEL A. CHINNERY, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration JOHN G. HEACOCK, Office of Naval Research LEONARD E. JOHNSON, National Science Foundation GEORGE A. KOLSTAD, U.S. Department of Energy PAUL F. KRUMPE, Agency for International Development RICHARD A. MARTIN, JR., U.S. Bureau of Reclamation UGO MORELLI, Federal Emergency Management Agency ANDREW J. MURPHY, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission JERRY PERRIZO, Air Force Office of Scientific Research ROBERT WESSON, U.S. Geological Survey JAMES WHITCOMB, National Science Foundation GEORGE ZANDT, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory ARTHUR J. ZEIZEL, Federal Emergency Management Agency . . . Liz!

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COMMITTEE ON SEISMOLOGY STEWART W. SMITH, University of Washington, Chairman WALTER J. ARABASZ, University of Utah KEVIN J. COPPERSMITH, Geomatrix Consultants F.A. DAHLEN, Princeton University DONALD W. FORSYTH, Brown University KLAUS H. JACOB, Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory WILLIAM B. JOYNER, U.S. Geological Survey DONALD L. PAUL, Chevron Oil Field Research Company DANIELE VENEZIANO, Massachusetts Institute of Technology NRC Staff KEVIN C. BURKE, Staff Director WILLIAM E. BENSON, Consultant BARBARA W. WRIGHT, Senior Program Assistant V

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BOARD ON EARTH SCIENCES AND RESOURCES WILLIAM L. FISHER, University of Texas, Austin, Co-Chairman BRIAN J. SKINNER, Yale University, Co-Chairman SAMUEL S. ADAMS, Colorado School of Mines KEIITI AKI, University of Southern California ALBERT W. BALLY, Rice University JAMES R. BAROFFIO, Chevron Canada Resources Limited SANDRA L. BLACKSTONE, University of Denver DONALD J. DePAOLO, University of California, Berkeley GORDON P. EATON, Iowa State University W. GARY ERNST, Stanford University ROBERT N. GINSBURG, University of Miami ALEXANDER F.H. GOETZ, University of Colorado PRISCILLA C.P. GREW, Minnesota Geological Survey PERRY R. HAGENSTEIN, Resource Issues, Inc. HARRISON C. JAMISON, Atlantic Richfield Exploration Company (retired) THOMAS H. JORDAN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology CHARLES J. MANKIN, University of Oklahoma CAREL OTTE, Unocal Corporation (retired) FRANK M. RICHTER, University of Chicago J.J. SIMMONS III, Interstate Commerce Commission STEVEN M. STANLEY, Johns Hopkins University IRVIN L. WHITE, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority NRC Staff KEVIN C. BURKE, Staff Director LALLY A. ANDERSON, Administrative Specialist WILLIAM E. BENSON, Consultant HUONG T. DANG, Administrative Assistant PEMBROKE J. HART, Consultant SUSAN V. HEISLER, Senior Program Officer HYMAN ORLIN, Consultant THOMAS M. USSELMAN, Senior Program Officer BARBARA W. WRIGHT, Senior Program Assistant v

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COMMISSION ON GEOSCIENCES, ENVIRONMENT, AND RESOURCES M. GORDON WOLMAN, The Johns Hopkins University, Chairman ROBERT C. BEARDSLEY, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution B. CLARK BURCHFIEL, Massachusetts Institute of Technology RALPH J. CICERONE, University of California at Irvine PETER S. EAGLESON, Massachusetts Institute of Technology GENE E. LIKENS, New York Botanical Gardens SCOTT M. MATHES ON, Parsons, Behle & Latimer JACK E. OLIVER, Cornell University PHILIP A. PALMER, E.I. du Font de Nemours & Company FRANK L. PARKER, Vanderbilt University DUNCAN T. PATTEN, Arizona State University MAXINE L. SAVITZ, Garrett Corporation LARRY L. STARR, National Center for Supercomputing Applications STEVEN M. STANLEY, Johns Hopkins University CRISPIN TICKELL, UK Representative to the UN KARL K. TUREKIAN, Yale University IRVIN L. WHITE, N.Y. State Energy Research and Development Authority JAMES H. ZUMBERGE, University of Southern California NRC Staff STEPHEN RATTIEN, Executive Director STEPHEN D. PARKER, Associate Executive Director JANICE E. GREENE, Assistant Executive Director JEANETTE SPOON, Financial Officer GAYLENE DUMOUCHEL, Administrative Assistant v'

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Preface The Panel on Regional Networks was formed to evaluate the health and status of regional seismograph networks and provide annual reports to the Committee on Seismology that include recommendations for improvements in funding and for operations and research, instrumentation, and network- ing. Such reports are issued as published documents when appropriate. Regional networks are supported by federal and state agencies and pri- vate enterprise. About 50 regional networks operate autonomously within the United States. The instrumentation for the networks is not standardized and is antiquated, in many cases. Some significant portion of the funding for regional network operation and research is becoming increasingly vul- nerable. New thrusts at the federal level for electrical energy production and earthquake monitoring, in general, are resulting in the need to evaluate (1) regional network goals and planned lifetimes of networks; (2) stability of funding for both network operations and research; (3) operational problems, including lack of coordination between regional networks, obsolescence of equipment, rising telemetry costs, poor data quality, and data base manage- ment problems; and (4) coordination with national and global networks. The basic purposes of this report are (1) to make a convincing case for the intrinsic value of regional seismic networks, (2) to describe the seriousness of persistent problems in the current configuration and operation of these networks, and (3) to outline recommendations for their modernization and future evolution, in particular, their short-term integration and long-term affiliation with the U.S. National Seismic Network. Important supplementary information is included in two appendixes. . . vie

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. . . vill PREFACE Appendix A summarizes results from a survey of regional networks; it pro- vides a snapshot, circa 1989, of the nationwide regional seismic network resources. Appendix C reproduces a valuable, incisive document indepen- dently developed by D.W. Simpson, of Lamont-Doherty Geological Obser- vatory, that addresses many of the same issues faced by this panel and offers specific recommendations for the modernization and improved operation of regional seismic networks. The problems examined by the panel are not new, but some of the op- tions are. Problems associated with regional seismic networks were identified in a prior report of the National Research Council (Committee on Seismol- ogy, 1983~. Basically, these related to functional definition (the need for a clear statement of network goals and planned lifetimes), funding difficulties, and operational problems (obsolete equipment and the need for standardization and coordination). By the mid-1980s, future funding for regional networks was critically low, and in October 1985 a symposium and workshop on regional seismic networks were convened in Knoxville, Tennessee, under the auspices of the Committee on Seismology (Simpson and Ellsworth, 1985~. More than 100 seismologists attended that meeting, representing the vast majority of the more than 50 regional seismic networks in the United States, and all expressed concern for their future support. A dramatic result of the Knoxville meeting was a ground swell of consensus, enthusiasm, and commitment for addressing in a coordinated way the multifold problems faced by regional networks. The participants unanimously agreed that out-of-date instrumentation was the greatest source of scientific handicap and frustration to network seismologists: handicap, because the type and quality of seismographic data from many regional networks are inadequate for application to current seismological research; frustration, because the technology is readily available to eliminate the handicaps. Since the Knoxville meeting, a clear consensus has continued to emerge among the seismological community about the urgent need for change- changes in field instrumentation, modes of data transmission, network recording systems, and methods of data analysis and data management. Importantly, the functional objectives of seismic networks have been scrutinized and placed on a firm scientific footing. An initial attempt to do this was made by the Ad Hoc Committee on Regional Networks (ACORN, 1986), appointed at the Knoxville meeting. It has now been done more elaborately in the writing of the "National Seismic System Science Plan" (Heaton et al., 1989) following a July 1987 meeting of federal government and university seismologists in Alta, Utah. Finally, mindful of how wisdom tends to be "rediscovered," the panel is pleased to point the reader back to the report of the Panel on National, Regional, and Local Seismograph Networks, an earlier Committee on Seis-

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PREFACE MIX mology panel chaired by B.A. Bolt (Committee on Seismology, 1980). In slightly modified form, many of the thoughtful recommendations made by that panel are still relevant to issues affecting regional networks today. The legacy of that panel is captured in the following statement: ". . . the central recommendation of the Panel is that the guiding concept be established of a rationalized and integrated seismic system consisting of regional seismic networks run for crucial regional research and monitoring purposes in tandem with a carefully designed, but sparser, nationwide network of technologically advanced observatories" (Committee on Seismology, 1980, p. 2~. Now, 10 years later, the plans, infrastructure, and partial funding for a skeleton national network have been secured, but the precarious status of the nation's regional networks jeopardizes full realization of the powerful tandem system envisioned by the Bolt panel. Since the completion of this study, the Loma Prieta earthquake of October 17, 1989, (with a magnitude of about 7.1) caused damage both in the epicentral region and in vulnerable areas of San Francisco, some 60 miles away. The U.S. Geological Survey operates a regional network in the San Francisco Bay area, and, although the local spacing of sensors was sparse in the epicentral region, this local network provided valuable data on foreshocks, the main shock, and early aftershocks. Combined with the results of portable instruments that were deployed after this quake, these data will help to make Loma Prieta one of the best-analyzed seismic events of the century.

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Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 2 CONTRIBUTIONS TO DATE OF REGIONAL SEISMIC NF.TWOR K ~ 11 .... 17 3 PROBLEMS AND CONSTRAINTS Obsolete Instrumentation, 17 Data-Handling Difficulties, 18 Operational Difficulties, 20 Are Regional Networks Cost-Effective?, 20 4 THE NEED FOR REGIONAL SEISMIC NETWORKS Case Study: The 1987 Whittier Narrows Earthquake in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area, California, 27 Case Study: The 1986 Painesville Earthquake in Northeastern Ohio, 29 5 THE U.S. NATIONAL SEISMIC NETWORK Design Objectives, 33 Station Characteristics, 34 Data Transmission, 36 Data Processing, 36 Interface with National and Reg . tonal Stations, 37 x~ .. . . 25 32

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. . all 6 THE FUTURE: A NATIONAL SEISMIC SYSTEM Advantages of a National Seismic System, 39 Current and Projected Costs of a National Seismic System, 40 7 FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS . REFERENCES .... APPENDIXES A Survey of Regional Seismic Networks. B Interagency Agreement Between the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the United States Geological Survey............................................ C A Revitalization of Regional Seismic Networks: Implementation Strategies David W. Simpson CONTENTS 38 42 . .. 45 ...49 53 .. 57