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Millions Awarded for Earthquake Monitoring in the United States
Released: 5/3/2010 10:53:30 AM

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192
Elizabeth Lemersal 1-click interview
Phone: 703-648-6701

More than $7 million in cooperative agreements will be awarded for earthquake monitoring by the U.S Geological Survey in 2010. This funding will contribute to the development and operation of the USGS Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS).

“Earthquake monitoring is absolutely critical to providing fast information to emergency-response personnel in areas affected by earthquakes, so by building and repairing those monitoring systems, these cooperative agreements literally save lives and property,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.

As part of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, the ANSS provides continuous, real-time monitoring of earthquake activity and collects critical information about how earthquake shaking affects buildings and structures. Funds are also being provided for the operation of geodetic monitoring networks, which detect minute changes in the earth’s crust caused by faulting in earthquake-prone regions.

“The ultimate goal of earthquake monitoring is to save lives, ensure public safety, and reduce economic losses,” said Bill Leith, a USGS scientist and coordinator of the ANSS. “Rapid, accurate information about earthquake location and shaking has greatly improved the response time of emergency managers following an earthquake.”

Nationwide, 39 states are considered to be at moderate-to-high risk of a damaging earthquake. Although the frequency of earthquakes on the West Coast is higher than other areas of the United States, many eastern cities are also at risk, including St. Louis, Mo., Memphis, Tenn., New York, N.Y., Boston, Mass., and many others.

Institutions receiving funding for monitoring through seismic and geodetic networks include the California Institute of Technology; University of Washington; University of Utah; University of California, Berkeley; University of Memphis; University of Alaska, Fairbanks; University of Nevada, Reno; Columbia University; St. Louis University; Boston College; University of California, San Diego; University of South Carolina; Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology (Montana Tech of the University of Montana); University of Oregon; Central Washington University; University of Colorado; and San Francisco State University.

A complete list of funded projects and reports can be found on the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program website.

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