Improving Monitoring

Featured Research Projects

monitoring locations in the Pacific Northwest

Monitoring locations of temporary and continuous GPS instruments in the Pacific Northwest.

Detecting and accurately locating seismic events and slower crustal movements depends on sensitive instruments and good models (equations that describe characteristics of the earth’s structure). Scientists are performing research to improve several aspects of monitoring:

Recognition of the phenomena of slow slip is perhaps one of the most exciting discoveries in geophysics in the last decade. These phenomena are providing new clues and understanding about the processes involved in the loading and relaxation of deformation in subduction zones and elsewhere, which in turn will ultimately help us assess and reduce the hazard associated with the relaxation that occurs as damaging earthquakes. The newness of this discovery, and the explosion of related studies and data, require new efforts to coordinate information exchange about these phenomena and their connections to earthquakes. USGS is coordinating with other groups studying slow slip, and the results of these studies will be conveyed to various sectors of the public.

There is also research to improve the timeliness, scope, and reliability of authoritative earthquake information, reducing the impact to life and property. These efforts are focused at allowing an integrated and evolving view of any significant earthquake as soon as possible, providing earthquake source parameters, shaking distribution, shaking intensity, population exposure to shaking, and economic and casualty loss estimates.

Real-time Products for Response


PAGER - population exposed to different levels of shaking in the M6.0 South Island, New Zealand earthquake on June 13, 2011.

Research supports the following real-time products:

Scientific Staff