Acquisition of Strong Ground Motion Data in the New Madrid Seismic Zone using Novel Devices

Grants and Contracts Details


Acquisition of Strong Ground Motion Data in the New Madrid Seismic Zone Using Novel Instrumentation Michael E. Kalinski, Ph.D., P.E. Zhenming Wang, Ph.D., P.E. Abstract The New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ) poses a significant threat as a source of strong ground motion in the Central and Eastern United States. The area within and surrounding the NMSZ is surrounded by a number of strong ground motion recording stations, including many stations operated and managed by the Kentucky Geological Survey. These stations are instrumented with traditional seismographs, which are relatively costly. As a result, the number of strong ground motion stations in the NMSZ is limited. However, efforts are now underway to implement earthquake early warning systems (EEWS) in the United States, with some systems already functional in the Western United States. The United States Geological Survey manages these systems through the ShakeAlert system. The ShakeAlert system is relatively new and is still undergoing development and improvement, especially in the CEUS where an EEWS does not yet exist. One of the keys to developing an EEWS is the implementation of a large number of strong ground motion recording points, but this presents an economic challenge given the costs associated with traditional instrumentation. In light of this discussion, we proposed a study to acquire strong ground motion in the NMSZ using novel instrumentation. We will deploy smartphones and Raspberry Shake seismometers at locations where KGS is currently operating strong ground motion stations with traditional recording equipment. The smartphones and Raspberry Shake instruments will be networked so that when strong ground motion is detected, we will receive an alert and the data will be recorded and uploaded. We will compare the data acquired using these instruments to the data recorded using the traditional equipment at the existing strong ground motion stations. Attributes such as spectral content and dynamic range will be compared to assess the applicability of the novel instrumentation for use as seismometers in EEWS in the NMSZ in the future. As a result of this study, we will acquire a database of strong ground motion that the USGS and others can use to advance and implement ShakeAlert in the CEUS. This research will also have further benefit as we continue to work on other projects to bring EEWS developing nations such as Haiti that are prone to strong ground motion.
Effective start/end date1/1/2212/31/23


  • US Geological Survey: $59,230.00


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