New Article: Pinsky, Israel’s Earthquake Early Warning System

Pinsky, Vladimir. “Modeling Warning Times for the Israel’s Earthquake Early Warning System.” Journal of Seismology 19.1 (2015): 121-39.





In June 2012, the Israeli government approved the offer of the creation of an earthquake early warning system (EEWS) that would provide timely alarms for schools and colleges in Israel. A network configuration was chosen, consisting of a staggered line of ∼100 stations along the main regional faults: the Dead Sea fault and the Carmel fault, and an additional ∼40 stations spread more or less evenly over the country. A hybrid approach to the EEWS alarm was suggested, where a P-wave-based system will be combined with the S-threshold method. The former utilizes first arrivals to several stations closest to the event for prompt location and determination of the earthquake’s magnitude from the first 3 s of the waveform data. The latter issues alarms, when the acceleration of the surface movement exceeds a threshold for at least two neighboring stations. The threshold will be chosen to be a peak acceleration level corresponding to a magnitude 5 earthquake at a short distance range (5–10 km). The warning times or lead times, i.e., times between the alarm signal arrival and arrival of the damaging S-waves, are considered for the P, S, and hybrid EEWS methods. For each of the approaches, the P- and the S-wave travel times and the alarm times were calculated using a standard 1D velocity model and some assumptions regarding the EEWS data latencies. Then, a definition of alarm effectiveness was introduced as a measure of the trade-off between the warning time and the shaking intensity. A number of strong earthquake scenarios, together with anticipated shaking intensities at important targets, namely cities with high populations, are considered. The scenarios demonstrated in probabilistic terms how the alarm effectiveness varies depending on the target distance from the epicenter and event magnitude.

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