First Meeting Notes

PNW Region of the ANSS Advisory Committee Meeting

Feb 21, 2001, 9am - 1pm Bank of America Conference Room 21 Seattle, WA 
This was the first full meeting of the Advisory Committee put together to assist with the development of the Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS) in the Pacific Northwest. The committee is chaired by CB Crouse of URS/Dames & Moore Group. Gennie Thompson of the Bank of America and the Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup (CREW) hosted the meeting. Steve Malone, Bill Steele and George Thomas attended as representatives of the operational staff of the regional network.
The purpose of the meeting was to initiate activities of the Advisory Committee, and in particular to begin dealing with several specific issues which the ANSS regional coordinator, Steve Malone asked to have addressed. After introduction of the committee members and a brief review of the state of the ANSS development, both at the national and PNW regional level, presentations by committee members covered the following topics and action items:
1. The work of the Advisory Committee will mostly be done by ad hoc subcommittees formed to address particular issues and chaired by a member of the Advisory Committee. Subcommittee chairs will be appointed by the chairman and will be responsible for populating their subcommittees to include both subject and area expertise and user community representation. Membership will be selected by the chairman and consist of individuals with appropriate interests and abilities for the problem at hand whether on the Advisory Committee or not.
2. Review of strong-motion station sites (both current and planned) is being done by a subcommittee headed by Paul Grant. This subcommittee will provide recommendations to the operation staff on siting issues at a meeting in early April. They will deal both with general geographic distribution and specific siting constraints. Detailed descriptions of the current and planned sites will be provided to Paul by George Thomas. Derek Booth will work with Steve Malone and Bill Steele to provide Paul with the best current knowledge of the Geology at these sites. A discussion of the need for strong-motion instrumentation in structures resulted in the suggestion of deferring such instrumentation until at least next year. The geographic and geologic coverage of the region is the current priority to provide reliable information for ShakeMap and other basic ground motion response information. Comments from the group indicated that monitoring of buildings has a different need than that of bridges and other specialized structures. Building monitoring was primarily for long-term code development uses while monitoring bridges and other life-line structures would perhaps have more immediate, specific uses. Siting instruments for both types of structures need careful review and considerable input from the engineering community.
3. A discussion of products, particularly in terms of strong-motion data, indicated the need for a mechanism to get actual waveforms into the hands of interested engineers. All seemed satisfied with following COSMOS's lead on that and doing what they recommend.
4. A suggestion was made to see if the ANSS could support the development and use of a portable building monitoring system for temporary use in different buildings to record ambient vibrations for the purpose of general characterization. This would be more of a research project rather than a monitoring effort, but would have direct application to the understanding building performance in earthquakes. Perhaps similar to geotechnical characterization of sites, a building vibration monitoring would be for characterizing the response (at least linear) of buildings to vibration. Steve Malone will take this idea to the ANSS implementation committee for possible action.
5. A discussion of rapid information products had most relevance to the emergency response community. In particular getting quality information rapidly and widely distributed to personnel in the field was viewed with increasing importance. A recent example is where a Magnitude 3.1 earthquake near Seattle caused the mobilization of inspection crews for a utility costing ~$15K. Information about the earthquake was available quickly from the PNSN; however, its distribution needs lots of work with individual recipient organizations to maximize its timely use to improve the efficiency of inspection activities. Within the region information availability varies greatly. In the urban Puget Sound area ShakeMap and other advanced products are seen to be very important. In the Boise, ID area getting basic earthquake parameters rapidly is still a challenge.
6. A general discussion was held as to the overall financing of the ANSS. As currently planned federal support through the USGS will provide the basic infrastructure and major components of the ANSS but most seemed to think that it is not likely to either come through at the full funding level nor be enough to cover all aspects of what is needed. A consortium of local and regional private and governmental organizations is needed to supplement the basic support. To make this work it is critical that the products of the ANSS be identified and marketed effectively. This means making sure that products are well matched to the user community and one can identify who benefits from them, and how and how much they benefit in terms of measurable or tangible metrics. Members of a subcommittee to tackle this problem will be recruited by the chairman.
7. A discussion covered the topic of regional or local centers for operation and information in Oregon and Idaho. In both the Portland and Boise areas there are existing resources but in both cases are not yet well integrated into the ANSS model. In Portland the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) will try to develop a plan to support both operation and information dispersal and in Boise the Idaho Disaster Services will work with Boise State to do the same.
8. Topics to be covered by subcommittees or by the Advisory Committee as a whole include the following
Geotechnical and instrument siting
Monitoring buildings
Monitoring bridges, dams and lifelines
Emergency management (state/local/private)
Data management of products and information services
Finance and marketing
A meeting in early April will primarily deal with issues of instrument siting for the next round of 20 strong-motion installations to take place this summer.