2014 Minutes

Pacific Northwest Region ANSS Advisory Committee (RAC) meeting

10:00 AM, June 24th, 2014
University of Washington Club, Seattle, WA
Minutes prepared by Tom Yelin, (yelin@usgs.gov)
Bill Steele and RAC Chair CB Crouse welcomed the group.
Presentation by John Vidale
John began by noting that the USGS has said it will no long provide financial support for Regional Advisory Committees (RAC’s).  John emphasized that he and Paul think the RAC is valuable, and the USGS agrees, and requires it in Circular 1188, despite now not covering the costs.
John then provided a quick review of PNSN history since 2007, including most recently the advent of the prototype Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) project and the “M9 [Magnitude 9] project”.   He also reviewed the history of funding of the PNSN over approximately the same time period.
He mentioned the continuing uncertainties in federal and state support for the PNSN and uncertainty in federal DOE funding for monitoring in eastern Washington, especially on and near the Hanford nuclear reservation.
John spoke about Cascadia Initiative (CI) seismic stations (6 component - 3 broadband channels and 3 accelerometer channels), 25 in number that were reinstalled at previous Transportable Array sites in Oregon and Washington (using Federal recovery monies).  These will be removed within a few years unless some agency or agencies find the funds to purchase them from NSF (approximate price tag $0.5-0.8M). 
Vicki McConnell commented that Congressman DeFazio in Oregon has shown an interest in trying to keep these stations running, especially for EEW purposes.  Continuing maintenance costs for these stations presents a funding challenge.  David Schmidt notes that about 400 Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) high rate GPS stations will also be lost in 2020.  This likely will be a detriment to expanded and improved EEW efforts.
Craig Weaver:  USGS national and regional perspectives
Craig discussed “highlights” as viewed by USGS headquarters in Reston, VA.
Craig says that nationally, interest in ANSS per se has been superseded by EEW and concerns about induced seismicity.
The national ANSS advisory committee, the CSAC, has strongly recommended to the USGS that no more than 50% of total NEHRP spending be spent on earthquake monitoring operations so that more program funding can be allocated to research and outreach activities.
Projected USGS FY15 hazard program funding is essentially flat.
Moore funding for EEW coordination ends Jan. 2015.  This has paid the salary and related expenses of the EEW coordinator.  If the coordinator position is to continue, this shortfall will have to be filled.
FY16  “product initiatives” are modest in cost.  The biggest initiative is EEW ($16M/year for the entire West Coast).
Craig noted that scraps of money have been pulled together to fund LIDAR and geologic investigations in E-Wash for the past several years.
Vicki McConnell:  Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) and Oregon State Geologist
Budget flat (or slowly declining).  Only 20% of DOGAMI funding from state, the rest is soft money from partners.  
Ian Madin and William Burns have produced the following subduction zone earthquake scenario: Open-File Report O-13-06, Ground motion, ground deformation, tsunami inundation, coseismic subsidence, and damage potential maps for the 2012 Oregon Resilience Plan for Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquakes.
The strong motion instrumentation installation program is not working as was originally hoped.  The program will be thoroughly reviewed.  The needed resources for instrument maintenance are not available.  In response to a question from the group, Vicki noted that building instrumentation not telemetered.
DOGAMI and UO have submitted a NEHRP proposal for study of seismically induced landslides in coastal regions.  DOGAMI is also working with OR Dept. of Transportation on Cascadia lifeline assessments.
Althea Rizzo:  Oregon Office of Emergency Management (by phone)
OSSPAC (Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission) completed the Oregon Resilience Plan in 2013.  It has two components:  education and “hard mitigation” of critical infrastructure and critical buildings.  Education is focused on educating leaders.  The task force writing the implementation plan has political, business and community leaders.
Jeff Soulages comment – task force is focusing on the next two years, paying attention to the most important issues – to start funding difficult but critical mitigation projects.
Improving marking of tsunami evacuation routes – using college and university design students.  Develop “Multi-modal way finding” on these routes.  Funding from NTHMP.
EM preparedness comic book in collaboration with “Dark Horse” comics.  Coming out in July with small print run plus e-media.
Also, a video targeted at coastal visitors has been produced.
George Crawford:  Washington State Emergency Management Dept.
Reminded the gathered of the availability of Seattle Fault Scenario Report.  10/16/14 is the date for a multi-state "shakeout" exercise – a goal is 1 million WA participants.
Earthquake Hazard Workshops have been held in Spokane and Richland.  In these locations, even emergency managers tend to be complacent about earthquake hazards in their jurisdictions.  There will soon be a meeting with Governor’s staff about eastern Washington earthquake hazards.  Efforts continue toward educating the populace about non-structural hazard mitigation.
The incorporation of vertical evacuation options at the new elementary school in Westport is an important achievement.  KOMO TV produced this report on the project.
Project Safe Haven is promoting local, grassroots planning for tsunami response.
Tim Walsh:  Washington State Dept. of Natural Resources
Tim noted the 2013 completion of "Earthquake-induced landslide and liquefaction susceptibility and initiation potential  maps for tsunami inundation zones  in Aberdeen, Hoquiam, and Cosmopolis, Grays Harbor County, Washington, for a M9+ Cascadia subduction zone event".  
In the aftermath of the Oso landslide disaster, DNR will be ordered to do more landslide work, probably without additional funding.  This could curtail state-funded earthquake work.  
Also jeopardizing DNR funding is the possibility that the State Supreme Court ruling regarding public school funding could force the legislator to make substantial cuts in non-educational funding to meet court mandates for educational funding.
Ray Cakir, also WA Department of Natural Resources
Ray gave a brief summary of both shallow and deep shear wave measurement studies funded by the USGS through NEHRP.  In some instances, they presented velocity data down to 2-3 km.
See "quickl links" at the end of this document for links to their NEHRP reports.
John Cassidy:  Geological Survey of Canada (by phone)
The Canadian National Seismic Network consists of 150 seismic and 26 GPS stations.  This network will undergo a complete refurbishment in next several years.  This will start in the next 2-3 years and will be completed in the following 4 years.  Fracking in BC and Alberta is also receiving attention.  Temporary arrays being installed to study this problem.
This summer just south of Prince Rupert six co-located broadband and GPS stations will be installed (for at least five years).
~100 free-field Internet accelerometers have been installed in Canada metro areas, and~100 installed by Department of Transportation on infrastructure.  
Ocean Networks Canada has plans to deploy OBS and coastal (onshore) instruments.  SeaJade is a current Canada-Japan cooperative project to deploy ocean floor seismometers.  
They were deployed last fall and will be collected this October. 
Work on the 2012 Haida Gwaii earthquake is wrapping up.
Development of onsite event processing of accelerometer and GPS data is being pursued.
During lunch Bill Steele gave a presentation on PNSN outreach efforts and the group dicussed public education challenges in the age of earthquake early warning.
1:00 John Vidale:  Earthquake Early Warning funding outlook, I/UCRC, Hawaii. 
Currently UW is receiving about $60K per year from USGS for EEW.   UW has also received  $1.8M from the Moore Foundation to construct a prototype EEW system for the Pacific Northwest in the time period 2012-2015, likely to be no cost extended to 2016.
A draft federal plan for an early warning system for the three Pacific coast states requires $16M/yr. for full implementation and continuing maintenance.  About 1/3 of this would be for the PNW  ($4.5M), with a 5-10 year timeline to build to completion.  This price tag does not include OBS’s.
John then gave a status report on PNSN EEW-prototype system.
John then spoke about the possibility of establishing a NSF supported, Industry / University Cooperative Research Center consisting of the UW, UC Berkeley and Caltech plus private partners (who would pay about ~$60K/yr.).
A long discussion of the pros and cons of this membership model followed.
CB said he thinks it would be better to broaden this research center beyond just EEW.  He also suggested that tiered membership fees might encourage participation by smaller companies.
Brendan Crowell, UW Dept. of Earth and Space Sciences
Brendan discussed an approach to earthquake early warning using both seismic and geodetic data.  It is a two-step approach:  initial warning is based on seismic data, which is then refined using high rate real-time GPS data.  He gave a fairly detailed discussion of the algorithms being developed.
Kate Allstadt on M9 project
To quote from the M9 web site:
M9 is a new NSF Hazards SEES project (EAR-1331412) bringing together a broad team of University of Washington researchers with the goal of reducing the catastrophic potential of Cascadia megathrust earthquakes on the social, built, and natural environments through research advances in methodologies, warnings, and community planning.
Dave Schmidt – UW Natural Hazards Resilience Center?
This Center, being developed and promoted by Earth and Space Sciences and related UW departments and colleges, is a multi-college center.  This is still in a conceptual phase, with no promises of resources yet.
Tim Walsh commented that academics have to learn the ICS (Incident Command System) language and structure – emergency responders will not learn to speak “academic”.  He cited recent communications problems between university researchers and emergency responders during the Oso landslide crisis.
CB Crouse:  Closing items: RAC future, action item listing.
Change schedule or function of RAC?
CB noted that it has been two years since last meeting.  CB advocates for once a year RAC meetings.   Paul and John restated their belief in the value of the RAC.  Paul felt bad that there was too much lecturing.  Maybe a more focused agenda?  
CB suggests that before next meeting, a list of specific issues the PNSN needs feedback on, with necessary background information that would inform the RAC members so that they can provide better advice.
Action items
1. CB requested regular updates on M9 project, on Hanford and eastern Washington developments, and indeed to receive quarterly update on all pertinent issues.
2. Walsh spoke for research, education, outreach regarding how to use EEW product.
3.  Bodin asked RAC to communicate to ANSS the need for:
a.  Better coordination between the Volcano Hazards Program and the Earthquake Hazards Program 
b.  The ANSS should come to a decision about where in its priorities does earthquake monitoring in eastern Washington lies.
The meeting adjourned at 3:15 PM.
Those participating:

RAC Members

C.B. Crouse, URS (Chair of Reg. Advisory Comm.)
John Cassidy (phone), Geological Survey of Canada 
George Crawford, WA State Emerg. Mgmt. Div.
Leon Kempner, Jr., Bonneville Power Administration
Vicki S. McConnell, Oregon DOGAMI & State Geologist
T. J. McDonald, City of Seattle, Office of Emerg. Mgmt.
Lowell Porter, Pierce County Emerg. Mgmt.
Michael Riley, Bonneville Power Administration
Althea Rizzo (phone), Oregon Emerg. Mgmt.
Jeffrey Soulages, Intel Corp.
Tim Walsh, WA Division of Natural Resources
B. Hardenbrook, Pacific NW Economic Region
John Ewert, USGS, Cascades Volcano Observatory, Vancouver, WA
Craig Weaver, USGS, Seattle
Other contributers:
John Vidale, WA state seismologist, director PNSN, UW
Paul Bodin, Director of Operations, Pacific NW Seismic Network, UW
David Schmidt, Earth & Space Sciences, UW
Tom Yelin, USGS, Seattle
Bill Steele, Pacific NW Seismic Network, UW
Brendan Crowell, Earth & Space Sciences, UW
Joan Gomberg, USGS, Seattle
Ray Cakir, WA Division of Natural Resources
Dave Nelson, WA State Emerg. Mgmt. Div.
Quick Links to sites and reports mentioned in these minutes:
ANSS Plan: USGS Circular 1188
Open-File Report O-13-06, Ground motion, ground deformation, tsunami inundation, coseismic subsidence, and damage potential maps for the 2012 Oregon Resilience Plan for Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquakes, by Ian P. Madin and William J. Burns: http://www.oregongeology.org/pubs/ofr/p-O-13-06.htm
Strong motion site characterization
2014-04-30_Hanford Seismic Network Review (final).pdf [This report, prepared by consultants for Mission Support Alliance, proposes a plan to abandon or transfer to some other agency, and upgrade several analog stations, and place a couple of new stations on the Hanford site]. Good reading.

2014 RAC final agenda.docx [The RAC meeting agenda]

Bodin_RAC_Presentation_Not_Given.pdf [Brilliant overview of the current state of PNSN operations with some updates on topics of interest to the RAC]

ofr2014-1097.pdf [This is the implementation plan for the West-Coast-Wide Earthquake Early Warning System that is under development]

PIC New Technologies Report 2013.pdf [Report of an IRIS-sponsored study of the State-of-the-art-and-beyond in observatory seismic monitoring. Food for thought].

SeafloorGeodesyCascadiaReport_ver130203_HighRes.pdf [Report of the workshop we held in 2012 to strategize about future geodetic monitoring of the Cascadia seafloor].
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