ShakeAlert:  Public and private partners are working together to improve seismic monitoring and implement an onshore public earthquake early warning system on the west coast, known as ShakeAlert.

Alerts will provide seconds to minutes of warning of impending ground shaking, allowing individuals to carry out pre-determined actions for safety and, through automation, industry, utilities, and transportation sectors will be able to power down or protect critical operations.

2018 ShakeAlert Revised Technical Implementation Plan

The 2018 Implementation is published on the USGS web site.

Open-File Report 2018-1155Revised technical implementation plan for the ShakeAlert system—An earthquake early warning system for the West Coast of the United States

Suggested citation:

Given, D.D., Allen, R.M., Baltay, A.S., Bodin, P., Cochran, E.S., Creager, K., Gee, L.S., Hauksson, E., Heaton, T.H., Hellweg, M., Murray, J.R., Thomas, V.I., Toomey, D., and Yelin, T.S., 2018, Revised technical implementation plan for the ShakeAlert system—An earthquake early warning system for the West Coast of the United States: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1155, 42 p., [Supersedes USGS Open-File Report 2014–1097.]

2018 Updates:

  • ShakeAlert, the earthquake early warning system being developed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and West Coast colleagues, recently received a significant increase in federal funding.
  • The FY18 omnibus spending package passed by Congress and signed by the President in March allocates $12.9 million for continued development and limited public rollout of the system and $10 million for capital costs associated with earthquake sensors buildout and system infrastructure. In FY17, Congress allocated $10.2 million to Shake Alert. The omnibus action more than doubles the funding for ShakeAlert by making a significant investment in the necessary seismic network infrastructure that supports the alert system.
  • UO and ShakeAlert plan a phased rollout. UO will continue to seek public and private financial support for the project. Unlike California and Washington, Oregon makes no reoccurring commitment to the operation of its university-managed seismic network.
  • The Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI), via the state’s seismic instrumentation fund, provided the UO ~$373K to purchase instruments for new ShakeAlert stations. USGS provides UO funds to install, operate, and maintain these critical sites.
  • UO, on behalf of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN) and the Oregon Dept. of Transportation (ODOT), expanded an Inter-Governmental Agreement to use state data transport and physical infrastructure for ShakeAlert and AlertWildfire.
  • The Oregon Committee for ShakeAlert Communication, Education, and Outreach(ORCCEO) continues to lead and facilitate Oregon’s implementation of the ShakeAlert program.
  • USGS awarded an additional $100K to support Technical User Working Group and Emergency Management Coordinator positions within Oregon.These efforts are closely coordinated with OEM, ORCCEO, and DOGAMI.


BACKGROUND: For nearly 30 years, the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network has been responsible for maintaining and monitoring sensors and stations located in Oregon and Washington. The Pacific Northwest, lying in the Cascadia Subduction Zone, has the potential for some of the most violent earthquakes. Yet it lacks a fully instrumented earthquake early warning system—a common place safety precaution in other places that have as much seismic activity. ShakeAlert will monitor the San Andreas Fault in California, the Cascadia Subduction Zone, and numerous other crustal faults.