Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. Earth Science News .




DISASTER MANAGEMENT
NASA Developing Natural Hazard Warning Systems
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Dec 11, 2013


File image.

Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have enhanced existing GPS technologies to develop new systems for California and elsewhere to warn of hazards from earthquakes, tsunamis and extreme weather events.

The technology was demonstrated in July by forecasters at NOAA National Weather Service offices in Oxnard, Calif., and San Diego. They used it to track a summer monsoon rain event affecting Southern California and issue more accurate and timely flash flood warnings. The system uses real-time information from GPS stations upgraded with small, inexpensive seismic and meteorological sensors.

The technology is also being integrated into other real-world cases. One example is making damage assessments for hospitals, bridges and other critical infrastructure that can be used in real time by emergency personnel, decision makers and first responders to help mitigate threats to public safety. For hospitals, the primary goal is to shut down elevators automatically and send alerts to operating room personnel -- for example, when an earthquake early warning is received.

The early warning system is particularly effective during large earthquakes, when existing seismic methods have difficulty determining a rapid and accurate estimate of magnitude. For bridges, the system may detect changes to their structure due to earthquakes, wind shear and traffic loads.

At a media briefing at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco, scientists from JPL, Scripps and NOAA's National Weather Service in Oxnard discussed the technology and its current and potential applications.

"These advancements in monitoring are being applied to public safety threats, from tall buildings and bridges to hospitals in regions of risk for natural hazards," said Yehuda Bock of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, Calif.

"Meaningful warnings can save lives when issued within one to two minutes of a destructive earthquake, several tens of minutes for tsunamis, possibly an hour or more for flash floods, and several days or more for extreme winter storms."

The technology is based on an optimal combination of GPS, accelerometer, pressure and temperature data, collected in real time at many locations throughout Southern California and on large engineered structures (e.g., tall buildings, hospitals and bridges) for focused studies of health and damage.

Data products include accurate measurements of permanent motions (displacements) of ground stations and instruments deployed on structures, which form the basis for early detection of sustained damage; and measurements of precipitable water in the lower atmosphere, a determining factor in short-term weather forecasting. The combination of sensors significantly improves current seismic and meteorological practices.

In the case of the successful Southern California monsoon forecast and more accurate flash flood warnings in July, NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colo., provided atmospheric moisture measurements to forecasters from a regional collaborative network of GPS stations, newly expanded to provide dense coverage in Southern California.

Throughout Southern California, hundreds of scientific-grade GPS stations are constantly receiving signals from GPS satellites to determine their precise positions. Because water vapor in the atmosphere distorts GPS satellite signals, GPS ground stations are simultaneously measuring water vapor as well as position.

"These water vapor measurements are currently being used to help forecasters better monitor developing weather during periods between satellite overpasses and weather balloon launches," said research scientist Angelyn Moore of JPL.

"Our project is upgrading GPS ground stations to get these data to forecasters in minutes to seconds to help them better understand whether summer monsoonal moisture is likely to cause harmful flash flooding."

"This GPS network provides forecasters with timely and critical information on the availability of atmospheric moisture, allowing us to more accurately forecast and warn for potentially deadly flash flooding and wintertime heavy precipitation events in Southern California," said Mark Jackson, meteorologist in charge at NOAA's National Weather Service office in Oxnard.

"Having such detailed and timely information on how much moisture is available helps us better understand and forecast our extreme winter storms fueled by what are known as atmospheric rivers. It can also help us better pinpoint and anticipate thunderstorms capable of producing flash flooding."

Southern California weather forecasters are moving from periodic updates of moisture content once every 30 minutes to continuous updates. Balloon launches occur only twice a day from four locations.

Bock said the technology improves earthquake early warning by analyzing the very first moments of an earthquake in real time to characterize the more violent shaking that will follow.

By detecting the initial arrival of seismic "P" (primary) waves, which travel through Earth the fastest, at the upgraded GPS stations, it is possible to predict the arrival of slower-traveling seismic "S" (secondary) waves that cause the most intense shaking.

The warning time can range between several seconds to as long as two minutes, depending on distance from the earthquake's epicenter. The earthquake magnitude and other critical fault parameters can be rapidly and accurately determined to generate ground intensity maps throughout the affected region, and form the basis of tsunami warnings.

Planning is underway to integrate the technology into earthquake and tsunami early warnings and structural monitoring for the San Diego County Office of Emergency Services; hospital monitoring and early warnings for UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest; monitoring of the Vincent Thomas Bridge in Long Beach for Caltrans; and forecasts of storms and flooding for NOAA's weather forecasting offices in San Diego and Los Angeles.

.


Related Links
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Kerry to tour typhoon-hit Philippines, Vietnam
Washington (AFP) Dec 09, 2013
US Secretary of State John Kerry is to make his first visit to the Philippines since taking office to see first-hand the damage left by last month's typhoon, and will also tour Vietnam where he fought during the war. Kerry's next trip from December 11 to 18 will start on Wednesday, his 70th birthday, when he flies to Israel and Ramallah. But he will then travel to Ho Chi Minh City and Ha ... read more


DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Japan to spend $970 mn on nuclear soil store: report

Kerry to tour typhoon-hit Philippines, Vietnam

NASA Developing Natural Hazard Warning Systems

Haiti quake destroyed or damaged 60 years of archives

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Google opens first data centres in Asia

Berkeley Lab Researchers Create a Nonlinear Light-generating Zero-Index MetaMaterial

First Boeing-built Inmarsat-5 Global Xpress Satellite Sends Initial On-Orbit Signals

New setback for Canadian gold mine plan

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Coal port plan will kill Great Barrier Reef: activists

New Jersey Shore Likely Faces Unprecedented Flooding by Mid-Century

Better water purification with seeds from Moringa trees

EU parliament approves Morocco fisheries deal

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Ice loss from West Antarctica on the increase

Airborne Radar Looking Through Thick Ice During NASA Polar Campaigns

Lakes discovered beneath Greenland ice sheet

Prince Harry's South Pole race cancelled, but trek goes on

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Crop-infecting virus forces aphids to spread disease

Saudi, China scientists decode date-palm tree DNA

Qantas steward with Parkinson's to sue over pesticide link

IPM for Billbugs in Orchardgrass

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Heavy rain sparks Rio state of alert

New Japan volcanic islet here to stay, for now: official

At least 11 dead after heavy rains in northeast Brazil

Slippery clay intensified Japan 2011 tsunami-quake: scientists

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Trinidad security industry faces calls for clean-up

US military to fly AU troops to C. Africa: officials

Bangui residents guide French troops in weapons hunt

1,600 French troops in CAR, no fresh clashes: army

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Discovery of partial skeleton suggests ruggedly built, tree-climbing human ancestor

Taking pictures to remember may help you forget

Malaysia's once-nomadic Penan caught between two worlds

Domestication of dogs may have come from pre-existing capacity of wolves to learn




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement