An earthquake-detection system developed by the University of California Berkeley’s Seismological Laboratory performed well during the recent earthquake that struck the Napa Valley region on August 24. The system was able to produce a warning message 10 seconds before the magnitude-6 temblor struck. "It was definitely a great proof-positive that the system works just like we'd hoped," says Jennifer Strauss, the lab's external relations officer. "One of the things the Napa quake did show us is you need to make sure there are enough sensors," says Strauss. One member of the lab even stated the warning could have gone out 2.5 seconds earlier had the lab received more funding to install more sensors in the area. California unanimously passed a bill last year that would create a state-wide early detection system. Funding for such project, however, has yet to be found.
The 21st anniversary of the magnitude 6.7 1994 Northridge Earthquake, became the opportunity for announcing the upgrade of the water-pipe infrastructure around the Northridge Hospital Medical Center. Besides the specific location, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power officials plan the installation of the new technology pipes at key locations along the 7,200 mile water pipe network of the city, a project worth $10 million.
Researchers at the University of British Columbia (Okanagan campus) examined a variety of bridge types along with design requirements under the Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code. As part of the research, the seismic performance of shape memory alloy reinforced and post-tensioned bridge piers have been tested in the University’s Applied Laboratory for Advanced Materials and Structures (ALAMS). The results, published in the Journal of Structural Engineering, ASCE, point out that bridges are being built to withstand the force of an earthquake, however they are being overbuilt, resulting to unnecessary construction expenses.
A team of researchers from the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Lawrence Berkeley (Berkeley Lab) and Lawrence Livermore (LLNL) national laboratories, as well as from the University of California at Davis, have developed the first-ever end-to-end simulation code to precisely capture the geology and physics of regional earthquakes, and how the shaking impacts buildings. The code will take advantage of exascale supercomputers, the future supercomputers that will be 50 times faster than the US’s most powerful system today. Their work is part of the DOE’s Exascale Computing Project (ECP), a collaborative effort between the DOE’s Office of Science and National Nuclear Security Agency and was recently published in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society’s Computers in Science and Engineering.