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Courtesy of Richard Allen/UC Berkeley, location map and GPS displacements near the April 2010, Mw 7.2 El Mayor-Cucapah earthquake
Seconds matter

Earthquake Early-Warning System

Seismological research is underway to develop a system that saves lives and money.

The Science Program has a portfolio of several grants to support the creation of an Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) system that would be capable of providing robust advance warning of the size, extent, and timing of imminent earthquakes. In the seconds before an earthquake, more people can get to safety, utilities can alert workers in the field, trains can power down, and officials can activate emergency systems.

An EEW system can detect initial signals from a distant earthquake and can rapidly provide warning of shaking tens of seconds to minutes before destruction beings, allowing people and property to be secured and protected. Warnings would be issued across computers, cell phones, radios, TVs and other systems with broad reach to the public. The Moore Foundation’s grants to Caltech, UC Berkeley, University of Washington, and the United States Geological Survey are generating fundamental scientific knowledge about the physics of earthquake rupture, which will be integrated into a prototype system to assess the location and magnitude of earthquake sources. Ultimately, this work will make the Earthquake Early Warning system freely available to all.

Recent Grants

$229,000.00 Apr 2014 Seismology Assessment for a Mauna Kea Earthquake Early Warning System University of Washington, Department of Earth and Space Sciences
More Grants
Courtesy of Richard Allen, University of California, Berkeley


Robert Kirshner, Ph.D., Chief Program Officer, Science

Bob spearheads the foundation's Science program. Widely respected as an astrophysicist, Bob is the 2015 Wolf Prize for Physics winner. The Wolf Prize is among the most prestigious awards in physics an…

Aanika Carroll, Program Associate, Science

Aanika provides strategic, research and operational support for the Science Learning portfolio. She also supports the Caltech and Thirty-Meter Telescope commitments. Previously, she helped launch the…