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One minute after; strong-motion map, effective epicenter, and effective magnitude


, : One minute after; strong-motion map, effective epicenter, and effective magnitude. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America 87(5): 1209-1219

This article reports the recent progress on real-time seismic monitoring in Taiwan, particularly the real-time strong-motion monitoring by the Taiwan Central Weather Bureau's telemetered seismic network (CWBSN), which is presently aiming at rapid reporting immediately after a large earthquake occurrence. If rapid reporting can be achieved before the arrival of the strong shaking, earthquake early warning will become possible. CWBSN has achieved the generation of the intensity map, epicenter, and magnitude within 1 min of the occurrence of a large earthquake. Both rapid reporting and early warning are principally applied to large (M>>5) events; the requirement of on-scale waveform recording prompted CWBSN in 1995 to integrate strong-motion sensors (e.g., force-balance accelerometers) into its telemetered seismic monitoring system. Time-domain recursive processing is applied to the multi-channel incoming seismic signals by a group of networked personal computers to generate the intensity map. From the isoseismal contours, an effective epicenter is immediately identified that resides in the middle of the largest (usually the 100-gal) contour curve of the intensity map. An effective magnitude is also defined that can be derived immediately from the surface area covered by the largest (usually the 100-gal) contour curve. For a large event with a finite rupture surface, the epicenter and magnitude so derived are more adequate estimates of the source location and of the strength of destruction. The effective epicenter gives the center of the damage area; it stands in contrast with the conventional epicenter location, which only gives the initial point of rupture nucleation. The effective magnitude reflects more closely the earthquake damage potential, instead of the classical magnitude definition that emphasizes the total energy release. The CWBSN has achieved in obtaining the above crucial source information well within 1 min. This time can further be reduced to better than 30 sec, as illustrated by the example in this article, showing that earthquake early warning is indeed an achievable goal. The rapid reporting and early warning information is electronically transmitted to users to allow rapid response actions, with or without further human intervention.

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