Delivering earthquake warnings using smartphones

Researchers are teaming up to deliver early earthquake warnings with smartphones in California. The project leverages the recent development of warning systems using traditional seismic networks (ElarmS by Prof. Richard Allen) and using smartphones to capture and collect acceleration timeseries (iShake by Prof. Alex Bayen). By linking these two efforts to both enhance the performance of the warning system and start delivery of warnings to individuals’ smartphones, the researchers aim to reduce the overall impact of earthquakes, both on industrial machinery and on people’s safety.

The project focuses on 1) analyzing the acceleration data recorded by iShake to determine if it can be used as part of the ElarmS earthquake detection and shaking prediction system. 2) Developing the necessary real-time processing thread to extract the relevant information from the smartphone data and combine it with existing analysis that uses the seismic networks. And 3) continuing to develop the iShake app to receive shaking warnings from the integrated systems and then alert the phone users.