Rapid earthquake characterization using MEMS accelerometers and volunteer hosts following the M 7.2 Darfield, New Zealand, Earthquake

TitleRapid earthquake characterization using MEMS accelerometers and volunteer hosts following the M 7.2 Darfield, New Zealand, Earthquake
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsLawrence J.F, Cochran E.S, Chung A., Kaiser A., Christensen C.M, Allen R., Baker J.W, Fry B., Heaton T., Kilb D., Kohler M.D, Taufer M.
JournalBulletin of the Seismological Society of America
Volume104
Pagination184-192
Date Published2014/02
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0037-1106
Accession NumberWOS:000330579800012
Keywordslow-cost; network
Abstract

We test the feasibility of rapidly detecting and characterizing earthquakes with the Quake-Catcher Network (QCN) that connects low-cost microelectromechanical systems accelerometers to a network of volunteer-owned, Internet-connected computers. Following the 3 September 2010 M 7.2 Darfield, New Zealand, earthquake we installed over 180 QCN sensors in the Christchurch region to record the aftershock sequence. The sensors are monitored continuously by the host computer and send trigger reports to the central server. The central server correlates incoming triggers to detect when an earthquake has occurred. The location and magnitude are then rapidly estimated from a minimal set of received ground-motion parameters. Full seismic time series are typically not retrieved for tens of minutes or even hours after an event. We benchmark the QCN real-time detection performance against the GNS Science GeoNet earthquake catalog. Under normal network operations, QCN detects and characterizes earthquakes within 9.1 s of the earthquake rupture and determines the magnitude within 1 magnitude unit of that reported in the GNS catalog for 90% of the detections.

DOI10.1785/0120120196
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