Meeting Minutes from InspireSeattle Social on October 19, 2013

Earthquake Early Warning

Our next major earthquake might be a century from now -- or much sooner.  The technology will exist soon to warn people seconds to minutes before the worst shaking.  The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network is exploring the benefits and cost of such an earthquake early warning system, with the aim to get it working in the next few years.

Come learn about the risks we face here in the region, and for those of us willing to stay, how we may get some warning of the big one, and why we should build a detection system BEFORE the next major earthquake. The science and dangers behind earthquakes of our region were recently summed up in the new book, Full Rip 9.0.

Guest Speaker: 

John Vidale is a Professor at the University of Washington, Director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, and the Washington State Seismologist.  He was an undergrad at Yale and gained his PhD from Caltech, then worked for UC Santa Cruz and the USGS, taught at UCLA for a decade, and finally came to Seattle in 2006.  While at UCLA, he was director of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics.  His honors include the Macelwane Medal (1994) and being named the Gutenberg lecturer (2009) by the American Geophysical Union and the Researcher of the Year by the College of the Environment at UW (2011).  His research focuses on earthquakes, volcanoes, Earth structure, and the hazards of strong shaking.  Prof. Vidale is currently working on monitoring the earthquakes and volcanoes in Oregon and Washington, studying strange slow earthquakes and landsliding in earthquakes, and exploring how to implement earthquake early warning for the Pacific Northwest so we can gain a few seconds or even minutes of warning before suffering the strongest shaking in our ever-dangerous earthquakes.

Speaker: John Vidale


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