Meeting Materials/Presentations:


ANSS PNW Regional Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes

11am – 3pm, 01 May 2012, Suzzallo Library, University of Washington

Respectfully Submitted by Bill Steele


Advisory Committee Members in Attendance:

CB Crouse, Chairman (URS Corporation)

Dave Norman, State Geologist, Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

Tim Walsh, DNR

Ray Cakir, DNR

Ian Madin, Oregon Dept. of Geology and Mineral Industries [DOGAMI])

Susan Chang, City of Seattle Department of Planning & Development

John Schelling, Washington State Emergency Management Division

John Himmel, Washington State Dept. of Transportation

Tamera Biasco, FEMA Region X

TJ McDonald, Seattle Emergency Management

Bill Perkins, Shannon and Wilson


UW, USGS, and CWU scientists in attendance:

John Vidale, Director, Pacific Northwest Seismic Network

Paul Bodin, Manager, PNSN

Steve Malone, PNSN

Bill Steele, PNSN

Craig Weaver, USGS

Joan Gomberg, USGS

Tim Melbourne, Central Washington University


Copies of presentations and other meeting materials can be found on line at…….

CB Crouse welcomed the attendees and called the meeting to order at 11:15 AM in the Smith Room of Suzzallo Library. He turned the meeting over to John Vidale.

John Vidale provided an agenda overview and mentioned that Art Frankel was unable to attend the meeting and had provided an overview of the March 21-22 PNW National Seismic Hazard Mapping Workshop. John asked the committee and found most had attended the workshop. He would present Art’s power point if time permits.

Review of the Vidale/Bodin epoch of PNSN history.  Following an orientation period, John Vidale and Paul Bodin formally accepted the reins of responsibility for PNSN management from Steve Malone in the fall of 2007. The following activities became the foci of each following year.

  • 2007-2008: Obtain Murdock foundation funding to acquire NSF Transportable Array broadband stations. PNNL also purchases 3 Eastern Washington stations and Oregon contributes 2. Visit State Agencies, Cities and Counties in the region to introduce products, solicit feedback, and promote partnerships.
  • 2008-2010: Design and implement American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Seismic station and telemetry upgrades. Deploy Netquakes strong motion seismographs in the Puget Sound region.
  • 2011-2012: Install and debug AQMS (Advanced National Seismic System Quake Management System) to operate in tandem with the Earthworm DAS. Convert to AQMS for production earthquake processing and alarming. Develop new PNSN website ( to operate with content management software and data base engines to develop and display real-time data products for lay and scientific users.
  • Continue Netquakes deployments in the Puget Sound Region and expand to the Portland Metro area.

PNSN History Presentation (PDF)

Budget Issues:

PNSN State funding remained flat this year after a 10% cut in 2010-2011. The State however now requires staff benefits to be paid out of the grant directly instead of a separate benefit fund which means we have ~25% less money to spend from this source.

The largest source of PNSN operations funding comes from the 5 year USGS cooperative agreement and now in the third year, that funding flat. USGS Volcano hazards Program funding is flat.

CREST program funding from NOAA administered through the USGS has been cut resulting in about 112k reduction in our total ANSS funding. The USGS is working to identify funds to replace this cut but uncertainties remain.

Funding from DOE (through MSA) for monitoring Eastern Washington is still somewhat in flux. Original budget requests were reduced effecting staffing plans. These developments will alter how the 2010 budget pie looks.


On going developments:

  • The PNSN has completed the transition from the Earthworm data processing system to the new AQMS system. Work continues to improve the systems robustness, improve the associated data bases, and supporting hardware.
  • The Stanford Center Liquefaction Array has been installed and data is flowing in.
  • Negotiations and difficulties continue to arise in learning how to work and accomplish objectives within the Hanford and MSA cultures to better monitor Eastern Washington.
  • The UW is completing the search for geodesy faculty hire and continues to work with Central Washington University PANGA group.
  • The UW received ~1.8 million dollars of support from the Moore Foundation to develop a prototype earthquake early warning system for the West Coast in conjunction with continuing efforts at UC Berkeley and Cal Tech. The UW program will focus on providing warning when a Cascadia megathrust earthquake is underway. 

Progress on last years topics:

  • Stimulus funded projects completed
  • Portland strong motion monitoring enhanced
  • AQMS system and new web site launched.

Notable earthquakes continue to interest and surprise us. Last years M9 Japan Earthquake overwhelmed mitigation planning efforts for numerous coastal communities where the maximum credible earthquake was estimated to be ~ M8. Last month a M8.6 and M8.2 earthquakes occurred as a result of strike-slip faulting within the oceanic lithosphere of the Indo-Australia plate. The 8.6 event is the largest strike/slip earthquake of its kind ever recorded.

These events will generate rethinking of the potential of earthquakes in ocean plates, and how big strike slip earthquakes can grow in some environments. The series of great earthquakes over the past decade may result in more research into the possibility of global triggering effects.

Early Warning System Presentation (PDF)

Regional Research Initiatives:

NSF EAR/OCE Cascadia Initative infused ~10M split between off shore ocean bottom seismometers (100 instruments, no telemetry) and onshore instrumentation. 230 GPS stations were upgrades and made real-time at a high sample rate (for gps) of 1 sample (solution) per second. Seismic monitoring was enhanced with the reoccupation of three columns of TA stations. The PNSN had already purchased and operate 15 of these but 25 stations were reoccupied for several more years with strong motion instruments added. If we were to add these stations to the PNSN after the experiment it would cost between 300 and 750K.

Ian Madin, Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries

New lidar has led to discovery of lots of new Holocene faults in Oregon, we are developing slip estimates from lidar imagery and existing geologic mapping, but have only begun to start characterizing them in detail. Below is a map of recent research activities and a LIDAR image of the Blue Ridge Fault Zone from Ian’s Presentation.


Oregon has embarked on a yearlong resilience planning effort based on a Cascadia M 9 scenario event. DOGAMI has prepared new ground motion and ground deformation maps for the exercise based on the USGS M 9 scenario bedrock motions, modified with DOGAMI's Vs30 map using the Boore Atkinson 2008 relationships.  

DOGAMI has also prepared new ground deformation maps for landslide and liquefaction, based on the HAZUS-MH methodology. The resilience plan will be delivered to the Oregon Legislature in spring of 2013.



John Schelling, Washington Military Department, EMD manages the Earthquake, Tsunami, and Volcano Program and reported on his programs activities.

Resilient Washington State: John provided an overview on the Resilient Washington Initiative of the Washington Seismic Safety Committee which was inspired by the San Francisco Urban Planning and Research Association (SPUR) Report, entitled The Resilient City, ( link to ) The SPUR report examines the current state of resilience to a scenario quake in San Francisco. The Purpose of the project is to provide a framework for improving Washington’s resilience to future earthquakes with the goal of making the State hazard resilient within 50 years. A resilient state is one that maintains services and livelihoods after an earthquake.  In the event that services and livelihoods are disrupted, recovery occurs rapidly with minimal social disruption and results in a new and better condition.


The initial report (link to report) includes 4 major policy sections - Defining Resilience, The Dilemma of Existing Buildings, Building it Right the First Time, and Lifelines. Three subsequent reports have been produced and are available on the Seismic Safety Committee Website.

Objectives of the program include efforts to better define the earthquake hazard for emergency managers and the public. From a suite of 20 scenario earthquake shakemaps produced in 2009, further work was done to explore the potential impacts of M7.2 Seattle Fault, M7.4 Southern Whidbey Island Fault, M7.1 Tacoma Fault, M7.3 Saddle Mountain Fault, M6.8 Cle Elum Fault, and M9.0 Cascadia Earthquakes.

Sub-committees were established to establish targets for re-establishing normal operations for:

  • Utilities
  •  Critical Services (police, fire, hospitals, food, etc.)
  • Housing and Economic Development
  • Transportation


Project Safe Haven: Tsunami Vertical Evacuation in Washington State

Project Safe Haven has made further progress in characterizing areas on the Washington Coast where evacuation times exceed the time (15-30 minutes) following a CSZ earthquake when the first tsunami wave is expected to arrive. Some residents are as much as 200 minutes at a normal walking pace to get out of the hazard zone. Community members with support from State and Federal Agencies have been exploring various vertical evacuation options identified in FEMA publication 646, Guidelines for Design of Structures for Vertical Evacuation from Tsunamis including towers, buildings, and earthen berms.



School Seismic Safety Pilot Project


Train-the-Trainer (T-3) Program


Interactive EQ Scenario Catalog


Tsunami Warning Communications Tests


DNR Update:

Tim Walsh, Ray Cakir

Using PNSN Data to illuminate faults, Cherry Creek Fault Zone, DNR publication

Site Characterization- 2009, 2010, 2012 110-115 stations characterized, ~115 remain.

 S and P wave velocity, Geologic Map overlay, Geotechnical Report, Water Well Logs, Other boreholes in Washington Geologic Information Portal database, now scheduled to activate in fall 2012.

  • Vs30m can be directly used for ShakeMap products, HAZUS-MH applications, seismic hazard mapping (GMPEs), and building code developments in the region.
  • Our database will be the first database gathered for a seismic network  supplying data for current and future studies at and nearby the stations, and future statewide high-resolution site classification and liquefaction maps
  • Very useful data for urban hazard maps
  • Better correlation and constrains for Vs profiling – such as reliable HVSR+MASW joint inversion results 

“Once it is ready” DGER’s Interactive mapping site is powerful and fastest way to search, download, generate maps for the prepared site-specific and  Vs databases.  

DGER OFR (in preparation)

-       2011 -

-       2010 -

-       2009 -

-       Ivan Wong, 2003-2011 -

-       The PNSN seismic site specific data base

Committee members will be notified when the mapping site and station geotechnical information is ready for review. Feedback from the professional community will be most helpful.


PNSN Outreach Update


Bill Steele provided a brief overview of PNSN outreach and education efforts. The PNSN reaches between 1,500 and 2,000 K-12 students a year with an introduction to earth sciences and regional earthquake and volcano hazards. PNSN faculty and staff also provide numerous presentations for community, government and professional organizations to update their understanding of the hazard, introduce information products available for their use, encourage disaster planning and mitigation actions, and answer questions.

Building and supporting partnerships with agencies and organizations with similar community education goals and objectives is an important way the PNSN increases the impact of its outreach program. Key partners include:

  • USGS Earthquake and Volcano Programs (Seattle FO and CVO)
  • Cascade Region Earthquake Workgroup
  • Contingency Planers and Recovery Managers
  • State Agencies: Washington EMD, DNR Geology
  • Washington and Oregon EERI?
  • ASCE, SEAW, and other professional orgs
  • American Red Cross
  • City and County Emergency Management Agencies


The PNSN also participates in the development of public and private sector policy development through participation in government policy development processes that include the work of:

Washington Seismic Safety Committee, Seattle URM Policy Committee and the Oregon Seismic Safety Commission. We also provide talks and have consulted with corporate and government management teams to assist them to better understand the potential impacts seismic events may have on their employees and operations.


The PNSN and our USGS partners also participate in the development and running of realistic earthquake exercises. Upcoming exercises include this June’s Evergreen Quake exercise, and the Great Washington Shakeout in on October 10, 2012.


Bill Steele is working with group of interested parties to organize a Washington Chapter of the Earthquake Engineering Research Center (EERI) . Ivan Wong has been seeking participant to form a chapter and assist the national organization develop their annual meeting that will be held in Seattle on February 13-15th 2013. 

CB commented this was a positive development the PNSN should support.


Earthquake Early Warning, John Vidale

The UW, UC Berkeley and Cal Tech was awarded 6 Million Dollars over three years to develop a proto type earthquake early warning system for the US West Coast. The USGS has been also asked to participate and it is envisioned that they will serve a coordination role and ultimately operated a full fledged warning system with support from Congress once the concept is proven viable and worthwhile. The UW/PNSN portion of the grant is 1.85 million dollars which will be applied to develop a robust warning system to capture and alert the region when a Cascadia Mega Thrust Earthquake is underway.

Goal- provide warning within tens of seconds that large earthquakes are developing along the coast, and send warning to a handful of corporations, such as Microsoft, Boeing, Intel, and HP, and Emergency Managers (if desired).

1.     Add 24 strong motion stations to existing real time gps stations on the coast.

2.     Hire a geodesy faculty member at UW, interviewing candidates this month.

3.     Hire a research scientist to study geodesy, Cascadia subduction, and integrate geodetic information into PNSN and EEW data streams.

4.     A scientific programmer and ½ scientist/technician

A prototype EEW system is in operation in California today. Justifications for supporting a full fledged operational system at the end of the development period include:

·      Life Safety improvements from stopping trains, routing traffic, exiting bad buildings, protection of exposed workers, and speeding tsunami warnings

·      Economic benefits would be many from battening down factories, nuclear reactors and refineries, computer operations, etc.

·      Peace of mind and just being modern. EEW is in operation in Japan, Mexico, Romania, Taiwan and other nations are planning systems. It will provide time to gather ones wits and know when further action is Not needed in addition to when to activate emergency plans.

EEW will always have a “blind zone” where warnings can not arrive before strong shaking but the radius of this zone has shrunk as the speed of telemetry and processing improved. EEW is not completely new to the PNW. WSDOT installed a rudimentary system to trigger gate closures on the Alaska Way Viaduct. In summary, EEW will provide:

  • Minutes of warning for earthquakes on the coast
  • Puget Sound infrastructure along Columbia R.
  • Immediate shut-down of viaduct, bridges
  • Slowing traffic, trains, airports
  • Hospitals, jump-starting emergency operations
  • Warning delicate industrial operations
  • Allows Shakemaps to be made before communications go down
  • No new physics is necessary, the science is there.


PNSN Network Status, Paul Bodin


Modernization of the PNSN involves weighing trade offs. Increased complexity and continual upgrading of technologies improves the usefulness of the data but complicates operations and maintenance. The PNSN is under going major hardware, software, and telemetry improvements simultaneously which has been challenging for both management and staff.

ARRA network improvements:

  • Completed 30 September, 2011
  • 43 seismic upgrades
  • 18 broadband stations: 30 ⇾120 s + RT130; 9 new vaults
  • 10 strong motion stations: IDS ⇾ RT130SM
  • 15 analog short periods:  ⇾ 4-channel “Basalt”, full digital. (note all episensors must be replaced...)
  • 4 telemetry node upgrades. (new wiring, tower work)
  • 20 NetQuakes strong motion recorders.


  • AQMS adoption

The PNSN became the first regional network outside of California to implement the new ANSS Quake Management System (AQMS). Substantial improvements in server hardware were required to support the new software which entirely changes the way we detect, process and send alerts for earthquakes. The new database driven system presents many new opportunities but also adds a great deal of complexity. We are still sweating many details but consider the transformation a major success. 

The new PNSN web site was rolled out in December 2011, linked to the AQMS production schedule. The web site is designed to be scalable through greater use of caching common pages. The site employs a content management system (CMS) to make it easier to administer. This functionality also makes easier to use modern networking tools. The PNSN news pages and blog get updated frequently and John Vidale has developed an active Facebook presence. New tools being developed include the ability to interact with the historic catalog and view earthquakes in user defined cross sections. Earthquake report pages provide easier access to a variety of information including waveforms, focal mechanisms, ShakeMaps and more.

  • Hanford developments

A contract is now in place between the PNSN and Mission Support Alliance (MSA). Due to funding and scope of work modifications initial plans for new staff positions were reduced from 3 to 2 FTEs. MSA is interested in special products to improve situational awareness following events including development of a high resolution ShakeMap for the Hanford area and ShakeCast.

The contract adds a lot of fieldwork to our schedule as every station in EW needs to be visited, assessed, and maintained. Land use agreements need to be updated, and telemetry improved in coordination with BPA. The Hanford reservation has a unique work culture and much effort was invested in learning how to accomplish our mission in this culture.

  • BPA telemetry changes

BPA is going digital, moving from microwave to digital communications. Our main terminus for dozens of stations is moving from Queen Anne to the Covington BPA site and changes to our telemetry path need t completed at 17 different BPA facilities. These changes are expensive but required. Thanks to Tom Yelin for overseeing and Pat McChesney for technical planning.

  • NetQuakes & NetQuakes Portland

The PNSN continues to deploy Netquakes strong motion seismometers primarily in our urban areas. To date 87 instruments have been installed and this spring including for the first time, 15 in the Portland Metro Area. PNSN technician Doug Gibbons has plans to install the remaining 15 instruments on our shelves by early summer exhausting our local supply. David Oppenheimer, USGS Menlo, has indicated additional instruments may be available once the current deployment is complete.

  • Seattle Liquefaction Array

The Seattle Liquifaction Array is installed and operating in SODO on the grounds of Seattle Schools’ Stanford Center. Tom Yelin and Craig Weaver of the USGS and Jamie Steidl, Rob Stellars, Bill Perkins, and CB Crouse all contributed greatly to the success of this project. Three down hole acceleragraphs, 6 piezometers and 1 barometer make up the array in combination with a surface accelerometer array.



The array is remarkably sensitive to pore pressure changes induced by loading from freight trains. Recordings can be view in Paul’s presentation.

  • Next Up

A very busy summer field season is being planned in an effort to catch up with deferred station maintenance, EW network absorption, BPA work, and replacement of a bad batch of episensors deployed in the ARRA upgrades.


Integration of seismic and real-time gps data will continue, hopefully with the assistance of new faculty and scientific staff.


New coastal strong motion stations need to be sited and deployed and work will continue in development of EEW software.


The new AQMS system will get regular “tune ups” as bugs are worked out and the back catalog is reprocessed in this system.


Earthquake processing and product development will be “modernized” (double differences, station corrections, magnitude adjustments, moment tensors, etc.)


Some things to consider


The NSF funded Cascadia Initiative has reoccupied 25 coastal region stations for the next few years. How can we retain these important stations when NSF pulls out?


We need to develop a strategy for optimum deployment of the first 8 EEW coastal stations we hope to install this year.


There have been some challenges coordinating with the NEIC on a number of  issues particularly how to best manage the reporting of earthquakes that occur near the boarders of authoritative regions.


CB Crouse adorned the meeting at 3:00 PM.