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Densifying station coverage in remote locations with low-cost sensors

Elizabeth S. Cochran, Benjamin A. Brooks, Julian Bunn, Tim Clements, Chris Duncan, Todd Ericksen, Graham M. Kent, Adam Ringler, & Seth Saltiel

Submitted September 10, 2023, SCEC Contribution #12977, 2023 SCEC Annual Meeting Poster #018

Sparse station coverage dramatically reduces the ability of earthquake early warning systems, such as the ShakeAlert system in the United States, to rapidly detect and accurately characterize earthquakes to issue alerts to regional populations. Traditional seismic stations in remote locations pose logistical challenges due to requirements for access, power, telemetry, and ground disturbance (digging) in ecologically or culturally sensitive areas. Capitalization of existing infrastructure for weather or fire monitoring is a potentially promising avenue for densifying real-time ground motion monitoring in remote locations. However, leveraging such sites requires any added seismic instrumentation be small and low-power, and ideally easy to install and maintain. Using a set of ALERTWildfire fire camera sites in Eastern California, we conducted a pilot installation of several low-cost seismic stations equipped with Raspberry Shakes ($800), smartphones ($300), and Arduino sensors ($30). Here, we report on initial findings from the pilot installation, including ease of installation and maintenance of the sensors. We also test data flow from the sensors into the PLUM earthquake early warning algorithm and to regional network centers. Additionally, we report on shake table tests of the smartphone and Arduino sensors that examine the fidelity of the ground motion recordings. Initial results show that the lightweight system code of the Arduino sensors makes them easiest to develop and maintain, with transparent system security.

Key Words
seismic sensors, earthquake detection, earthquake early warning

Cochran, E. S., Brooks, B. A., Bunn, J., Clements, T., Duncan, C., Ericksen, T., Kent, G. M., Ringler, A., & Saltiel, S. (2023, 09). Densifying station coverage in remote locations with low-cost sensors. Poster Presentation at 2023 SCEC Annual Meeting.

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