UW awarded private, public grants to develop earthquake early warning tool

The University of Washington is among West Coast universities awarded new funding for earthquake early warning systems, announced Feb. 2 as part of a White House Earthquake Resilience Summit.

The UW-based Pacific Northwest Seismic Network is helping to develop ShakeAlert, an automated alert system that could save lives and prevent millions of dollars in damages by providing seconds to minutes of warning before shaking begins.

The UW; the University of California, Berkeley; California Institute of Technology; and the U.S. Geological Survey were awarded $3.6 million in funding today from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to help advance the earthquake early warning system. The UW group will study the implementation of a network of sensors on the ocean floor to provide early warning for earthquakes from the Cascadia subduction zone, the largest threat for a catastrophic earthquake in the Pacific Northwest.

“Earthquakes pose tremendous risk to our communities, and so researchers from the UW and our partners are working with private funders and city, state and federal governments to create an accurate, responsive early warning system,” said John Vidale, a UW professor of Earth and space sciences and director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, who spoke at the summit.

Read more at UW Today »