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.