Allen CV
Seismo Lab
Earth & Planetary
UC Berkeley

Determination of earthquake early warning parameters, tau-c and Pd, for southern California

Yih-Min Wu
National Taiwan University

Hiroo Kanamori
California Institute of Technology

Richard M. Allen
University of California, Berkeley

Egill Hauksson
California Institute of Technology

Geophys. J. Int. 170, 711-717, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2007.03430.x

Download a reprint: WuKanamoriAllenHaukssonGJI2007.pdf (0.3 Mb)

We explore a practical approach to earthquake early warning in southern California by determining a ground-motion period parameter tau-c and a high-pass filtered displacement amplitude parameter Pd from the initial 3 s of the P waveforms recorded at the Southern California Seismic Network stations for earthquakes with M > 4.0. At a given site, we estimate the magnitude of an event from tau-c and the peak ground-motion velocity (PGV) from Pd. The incoming three component signals are recursively converted to ground acceleration, velocity and displacement. The displacements are recursively filtered with a one-way Butterworth high-pass filter with a cut-off frequency of 0.075 Hz, and a P-wave trigger is constantly monitored. When a trigger occurs, tau-c and Pd are computed. We found the relationship between tau-c and magnitude (M) for southern California, and between Pd and PGV for both southern California and Taiwan. These two relationships can be used to detect the occurrence of a major earthquake and provide onsite warning in the area around the station where onset of strong ground motion is expected within seconds after the arrival of the P wave. When the station density is high, the methods can be applied to multistation data to increase the robustness of onsite early warning and to add the regional warning approach. In an ideal situation, such warnings would be available within 10 s of the origin time of a large earthquake whose subsequent ground motion may last for tens of seconds.

© Richard M Allen