Space-Based System Can Provide Seismic Monitoring for Large Earthquakes, Tsunamis

GNSS station

11 May 2021–Researchers have developed a global earthquake monitoring system that uses the Global Navigational Satellite System (GNSS) to measure crustal deformation. The monitoring system within seconds can rapidly assess earthquake magnitude and fault slip distribution for earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 and larger, making it a potentially valuable tool in … Continue Reading »

Peggy Hellweg Elected SSA President-Elect

SSA logo teal graphic

23 April 2021–Peggy Hellweg, operations manager for the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory (BSL) at the University of California, Berkeley, was elected president-elect by the Board of the Seismological Society of America on 14 April. Hellweg previously served as SSA Secretary and co-chaired the 100th Anniversary Earthquake Conference, SSA’s joint meeting with … Continue Reading »

DeepShake Uses Machine Learning to Rapidly Estimate Earthquake Shaking Intensity

illustration of deep neural netowkrstra

23 April 2021–A deep spatiotemporal neural network trained on more than 36,000 earthquakes offers a new way of quickly predicting ground shaking intensity once an earthquake is underway, researchers report at the Seismological Society of America (SSA)’s 2021 Annual Meeting. DeepShake analyzes seismic signals in real time and issues advanced … Continue Reading »

High School Junior’s Consumer Seismometer Delivers Low-Cost Earthquake Early Warning

23 April 2021–A Southern California high school junior has built a low-cost seismometer device that delivers earthquake early warnings for homes and businesses. Costing less than $100 for her to make today, the seismometer could someday be a regular household safety device akin to a smart smoke detector, says its … Continue Reading »

Can Machine Learning improve Debris Flow Warning?

Illgraben torrent

22 April 2021–Machine learning could provide up an extra hour of warning time for debris flows along the Illgraben torrent in Switzerland, researchers report at the Seismological Society of America (SSA)’s 2021 Annual Meeting. Debris flows are mixtures of water, sediment and rock that move rapidly down steep hills, triggered … Continue Reading »

Aerial Photos Uncover an Invisible Fault in Chinese City

Datong City aerials

21 April 2021–Decades-old aerial photos of Yudong District, Datong City in Shanxi Province, Northern China have helped researchers in their search for a fault hidden underneath the city’s buildings and cement roads, researchers said at the Seismological Society of America (SSA)’s 2021 Annual Meeting. Analyzing these photos from the 1960s … Continue Reading »

Why Are There Relatively Few Aftershocks for Certain Cascadia Earthquakes?

HWY 302 after Nisqually earthquake

13 April 2021–In the Cascadia subduction zone, medium and large-sized “intraslab” earthquakes, which take place at greater than crustal depths within the subducting plate, will likely produce only a few detectable aftershocks, according to a new study. The findings could have implications for forecasting aftershock seismic hazard in the Pacific … Continue Reading »

SRL Top-Cited Papers for 2020

SRL

22 March 2021—Seismological Research Letters papers on the 2019 Ridgecrest, California earthquake sequence and papers on seismological tools and instrumentation were among the top-cited papers from the journal published in 2020. The ranking of all papers noted below reflect citation and download numbers through 31 January 2021: D.R. Shelly “A … Continue Reading »

BSSA Top-Cited Papers for 2020

BSSA

1 March 2021–Five papers from BSSA’s special section on the 2019 Ridgecrest, California earthquake sequence were the top-cited papers from the journal published in 2020. The ranking of all papers noted below reflect citation and download numbers through 31 January 2021: 1.DuRoss. et al. “Surface Displacement Distributions for the July … Continue Reading »

Tests Reveal Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities of Common Seismological Equipment

10 February 2021–Seismic monitoring devices linked to the internet are vulnerable to cyberattacks that could disrupt data collection and processing, say researchers who have probed the devices for weak points. Common security issues such as non-encrypted data, insecure protocols, and poor user authentication mechanisms are among the biggest culprits that … Continue Reading »

Submit Your Paper to The Seismic Record

TSR Masthead

1 February 2021–Today, the Seismological Society of America is opening submissions for its new open-access journal, The Seismic Record. It’s a thrill to be launching a high-impact, timely and inclusive journal that meets the interests of the seismological community–and we want you to be part of this launch. The Seismic Record provides an … Continue Reading »

2021 Election Results

SSA logo teal graphic

14 January 2021–SSA announced the election results from the 8 January 2021 election, conducted by YesElections, formerly known as Election America. 

Three new members will join the board for three-year terms, and one board member was re-elected to a second term:

Karen Fischer, Brown University
Zhigang Peng, Georgia Tech University
Xyoli Pérez-Campos, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Carl Tape, University of Alaska Fairbanks … Continue Reading »

Magnitude Comparison Distinguishes Small Earthquakes from Explosions in U.S. West

SPE explosive

13 October 2020–By comparing two magnitude measurements for seismic events recorded locally, researchers can tell whether the event was a small earthquake or a single-fire buried chemical explosion. The findings, published in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, give seismologists one more tool to monitor nuclear explosions, particularly … Continue Reading »

Alaskan Seismometers Record the Northern Lights

alaska aurora

29 July 2020–Aaron Lojewski, who leads aurora sightseeing tours in Alaska, was lucky enough to photograph a “eruption” of brilliant pink light in the night skies one night in February. The same perturbations of the Earth’s magnetic field that lit up the sky for Lojewski’s camera were also captured by … Continue Reading »

Supporting International Students

Travel Grant Recipients 2019

FROM BILL WALTER, PRESIDENT OF SSA 9 July 2020 — Seismology is a global endeavor, and the international scientific community benefits from a free exchange of people as well as ideas. The Administration’s recent proposal to limit participation by international students in US degree programs would be tragic, both for … Continue Reading »

SSA Seeks New BSSA Editor-in-Chief

BSSA

7 July 2020 – Today the Seismological Society of America announced its search for the next Editor-in-Chief (EIC) of Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (BSSA), its flagship, peer-reviewed international journal. The journal is key to the Society meeting its core mission to advance earthquake science worldwide and to … Continue Reading »

A Statement to Our Community

I write you as the president of SSA, a global society of Earth scientists that values the diversity of voices and backgrounds in our community. Along with the rest of the SSA leadership, I am disturbed and disheartened by the senseless killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Recent racist events … Continue Reading »

“Lettere Patenti” Help Assess Intensity of Historic Central Italian Earthquakes

Roman administrative document

13 May 2020–Three hundred-year-old administrative documents from the Roman government, granting residents permission to repair damage to their buildings, can help modern-day seismologists calculate intensities for a notable sequence of earthquakes that struck central Italy in 1703. Details gleaned from these “Lettere Patenti” offer a unique glimpse at the geographical … Continue Reading »

New in BSSA: Two Ways that Fault Segments May Connect

7 April 2020–In complex fault zones, multiple seemingly disconnected faults can potentially rupture at once, increasing the chance of a large damaging earthquake. Recent earthquakes including the 1992 Landers, 1999 Hector Mine and 2019 Ridgecrest earthquakes in California, among others, ruptured in this way. But how can seismologists predict whether … Continue Reading »

Catalog Shows Complex Rupturing During 2019 Ridgecrest Sequence

22 January 2020–The 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence, which startled nearby California residents over the 4 July holiday with magnitude 6.4 and magnitude 7.1 earthquakes, included 34,091 earthquakes overall, detailed in a high-resolution catalog created for the sequence. The catalog, developed by David Shelly at the U.S. Geological Survey in Golden, … Continue Reading »

At Work: Jessica Velasquez

Jessica Velasquez

20 November 2019–The terms may seem interchangeable to a layperson, but “hazard” and “risk” mean very different things in earthquake science. A seismic hazard is a natural phenomenon such as the level of ground shaking caused by an earthquake. Seismic risk, on the other hand, refers to the probability that … Continue Reading »

Extending Rupture History in Grand Tetons National Park

Glenn Thackray, Cooper Brossy, and Darren Zellman.

19 November 2019–Hand-dug trenches around Leigh Lake in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming reveal evidence for a previously unknown surface-faulting earthquake in along the Teton Fault—one occurring about 10,000 years ago. Together with evidence from the site of a second earthquake that ruptured around 5,900 years ago, the findings … Continue Reading »

Historical Earthquake Impact Affected by Seasonal Factors

6 November 2019–The season that an earthquake occurs could affect the extent of ground failure and destruction that the event brings, according to a new look at two historical earthquakes that occurred about 100 years ago near Almaty, Kazakhstan. In a paper published in Seismological Research Letters, researchers conclude that … Continue Reading »

Julian J. Bommer Selected as 2020 Joyner Lecturer

Julian Bommer

31 October 2019–The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) and the Seismological Society of America (SSA) are pleased to announce that Julian J. Bommer, a Senior Research Investigator at Imperial College London, is the 2020 recipient of the William B. Joyner Lecture Award. Bommer will deliver the Joyner Lecture at the … Continue Reading »

At Work: Max Suter

23 October 2019–Although he grew up in Switzerland and received his Ph.D. at the University of Basel, much of Max Suter’s career has been centered on Mexico. From the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt in central Mexico to the Basin and Range province of northwestern Mexico, his research has identified and characterized … Continue Reading »

Deep Landslides Not Reactivated by 2018 Anchorage Quake

22 October 2019–Major landslides triggered by the 1964 magnitude 9.2 Great Alaska earthquake responded to, but were not reactivated by, the magnitude 7.1 Anchorage earthquake that took place  30 November 2018, researchers concluded in a new study published in Seismological Research Letters. The shaking that accompanied the 2018 earthquake was … Continue Reading »

At Work: Leah Salditch

Leah Salditch

16 September 2019–Earthquake faults have short memories—or at least, that’s what the traditional earthquake cycle model suggests. Based on the elastic rebound theory proposed by Harry Fielding Reid after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the traditional model assumes that each earthquake in an area occurs independently of one another, and … Continue Reading »

SRL Focus on Subduction Zone Processes in the Americas

5 September 2019–The eastern Pacific Ocean margin stretching from Mexico to southern Chile offers seismologists a “natural laboratory” in which to study and test ideas about the processes of subduction zones, which are associated with some of the world’s largest recorded earthquakes in the region, as well as phenomena such … Continue Reading »

2020 SSA Board of Directors Election

SSA announces the 2020 election to select four new members to serve three-year terms on the Board of Directors. The seven candidates and their statements are presented below, in alphabetical order by last name; in order by last name, these candidates are Annemarie Baltay, Susan Bilek, Matthew Gerstenberger, Hiroshi Kawase, … Continue Reading »

At Work: Adam Ringler

Adam Ringler

15 August 2019–Seismic networks depend on good instrumentation. But testing sensitive seismic instruments to make sure they’re working right can be a challenge, as Adam Ringler, a physical scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey, knows well. “Seismometers aren’t only sensitive to ground motion, which you want, they’re also sensitive to … Continue Reading »

At Work: Joan Latchman

15 July 2019 –Joan Latchman, a seismologist at The University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre, was born in Trinidad and Tobago and grew up just a 15-minute walk from the Centre – then known as the Seismic Research Unit. At the time, the Centre had a low profile, … Continue Reading »

Deep-Sea Fish Do Not Signal Upcoming Earthquake in Japan

18 June 2019–The unusual appearance of deep-sea fish like the oarfish or slender ribbonfish in Japanese shallow waters does not mean that an earthquake is about to occur, according to a new statistical analysis. The study published in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America contradicts long-held Japanese folklore … Continue Reading »

SSA Announces 2019 Award Recipients

SSA logo

23 May 2019–SSA is pleased to announce the recipients of several of the Society’s awards for 2019. The Harry Fielding Reid Medal, the Charles F. Richter Early Career Award and the Frank Press Public Service Award are among the highest honors conferred by the Society. The Reid Medal recipient is Karen Fischer of … Continue Reading »

Mapping Industrial “Hum” in the U.S.

26 April 2019–Using a dense sensor network that scanned the United States between 2003 and 2014, researchers have identified areas within the country marked by a persistent seismic signal caused by industrial processes. At the 2019 SSA Annual Meeting, Omar Marcillo of Los Alamos National Laboratory said that he and … Continue Reading »

Taking a “Metamaterials” Approach to Mitigating Earthquake Damage

26 April 2019–In the past decade scientists have been experimenting with metamaterials, artificial materials designed with periodic internal structures to give them properties not found in natural materials. Depending on their internal geometry and composition, researchers have found that they can control waves propagating through some of these materials, filtering … Continue Reading »

What Does the Future of Kilauea Hold?

25 April 2019–Ever since Hawaii’s Kilauea stopped erupting in August 2018, ceasing activity for the first time in 35 years, scientists have been wondering about the volcano’s future. Its similarities to the Hawaiian seamount Lo`ihi might provide some answers, according to Jacqueline Caplan-Auerbach at Western Washington University. In her presentation … Continue Reading »

SSA 2019 Meeting Features Joint Sessions with SSJ

22 April 2019–This year’s SSA Annual Meeting includes three joint sessions with the Seismological Society of Japan, continuing a long-standing partnership with SSJ and SSA members. The three session topics—Machine Learning in Seismology, Next Generation Earthquake Early Warning Systems: Advances, Innovations and Applications and The Science of Slow Earthquakes from … Continue Reading »

Damaging Sichuan Earthquakes Linked to Fracking Operations

[讀中文] 5 April 2019–Two moderate-sized earthquakes that struck the southern Sichuan Province of China last December and January were probably caused by nearby fracking operations, according to a new study published in Seismological Research Letters. The December 2018 magnitude 5.7 and the January 2019 magnitude 5.3 earthquakes in the South … Continue Reading »

SRL Publishes Focus Section on Machine Learning

1 March 2019–With a growing wealth of seismic data and computing power at their disposal, seismologists are increasingly turning to a discipline called machine learning to better understand and predict complicated patterns in earthquake activity. In a focus section published in the journal Seismological Research Letters, researchers describe how they … Continue Reading »

Tide Gauges Capture Tremor Episodes in Cascadia

15 February 2019–Hourly water level records collected from tide gauges can be used to measure land uplift caused by episodic tremor and slip of slow earthquakes in the Cascadia Subduction Zone, according to a new report in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. Global Positioning System (GPS) data … Continue Reading »

Toppled Train Offers Insight into 1906 Earthquake

By mathematically modeling the movements of a locomotive that toppled from the tracks north of San Francisco during the city’s infamous 1906 earthquake, researchers have calculated a lower limit on the earthquake ground motion at the spot of the tipped train. Their report in the journal Seismological Research Letters concludes … Continue Reading »

2019 SSA Board of Directors Election Results

The Seismological Society of America held its Board of Directors election on Friday, 4 January 2019. The following nominees for Director were elected to a three-year term beginning in April 2019 at the SSA Annual Meeting in Seattle: Heather DeShon, Associate Professor, Southern Methodist University Heather DeShon’s principal fields of … Continue Reading »

Yousef Bozorgnia Selected as 2019 Bruce Bolt Medal Recipient

Yousef Bozorgnia

The Consortium of Strong Motion Observation Systems (COSMOS), Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) and SSA have selected Yousef Bozorgnia as the 2019 recipient of the Bruce Bolt Medal. Bozorgnia, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles in both the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the John … Continue Reading »

SRL Focus Section Investigates 2018 Hualien Earthquake Sequence

28 December 2018–A low-cost earthquake early warning system provided a map of expected ground shaking around the epicenter of February’s magnitude 6.4 Hualien earthquake within two minutes of the mainshock’s start, according to a new study by seismologists at the National Taiwan University, which deployed the system. The predicted shake … Continue Reading »

Annual Meeting Travel Grant Recipients Announced

SSA announced 21 student and international members will receive travel grants to attend the Annual Meeting in Seattle, to be held 23–26 April 2019. These travel grants are made possible by member contributions to the Kanamori Fund, the General Fund and the Student Travel Fund. Grant recipients receive complimentary conference registration and a cash stipend for transportation, food and lodging. The 21 recipients of … Continue Reading »

Allison Bent Named Editor-in-Chief of SRL

Allison Bent

SAN FRANCISCO (3 December 2018) – The Seismological Society of America (SSA) announced today the appointment of Allison Bent, a research seismologist with Natural Resources Canada, as editor-in-chief of Seismological Research Letters (SRL). Accessible by all SSA members and available in more than 1,300 academic, government and corporate institutions worldwide, … Continue Reading »

Explosion, Collapse, Earthquakes: Analysis of North Korea’s 2017 Nuclear Test

26 September 2018–The epicenter of the 3 September 2017 nuclear test explosion in North Korea occurred about 3.6 kilometers northwest of the country’s first nuclear test in October 2006, according to a new high-precision analysis of the explosion and its aftermath. The study published in Seismological Research Letters by Lian-Feng Zhao … Continue Reading »

Seasonal Reservoir Filling in India Deforms Rock, May Trigger Earthquakes

25 September 2018–The seasonal filling and emptying of reservoirs in India can cause measurable deformation of the surrounding rock, reducing the strength of nearby faults and potentially triggering earthquakes, according to two new papers published in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. Researchers in India used global positioning … Continue Reading »

SSA Board of Directors Election 2019

SSA announces the candidates for the 2019 election to add four members to the Board of Directors. The nominating committee, chaired by Jim Mori, confirmed a slate of six individuals to run for office. The committee included: Jim Mori (Kyoto University) Rachel Abercrombie (Boston University) Gail Atkinson (Western University) Ken … Continue Reading »

Urban Geophone Array Offers New Look at Los Angeles Basin

1 August 2018–Using an array of coffee-can sized geophones deployed for about a month in backyards, golf courses and public parks, researchers collected enough data to allow them to map the depth and shape of the San Gabriel and San Bernardino sedimentary basins of Los Angeles, California. Seismologists think these … Continue Reading »

SSA Announces 2018 Award Recipients

reid medal in box; Credit: SSA

14 June 2018–SSA is pleased to announce the recipients of several of the Society’s awards for 2018. The Harry Fielding Reid Medal, the Charles F. Richter Early Career Award and the Frank Press Public Service Award are among the highest honors conferred by the Society. The Reid Medal recipient is David M. … Continue Reading »

How Often Do Cascadia’s Megaquakes Occur?

Cascadia ghost forest

16 May 2018–Devastating magnitude 8.0 to 9.0 megathrust earthquakes and accompanying tsunamis appear to have hit the U.S. Pacific Northwest and Southwest Canada about every 500 years on average. But some scientists think the recurrence interval between some of these large earthquakes may be shorter—along the lines of every 300 … Continue Reading »

How Big Can a Tsunami Be in the Caribbean?

16 May 2018–The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami has researchers reevaluating whether a magnitude 9.0 megathrust earthquake and resulting tsunami might also be a likely risk for the Caribbean region, seismologists reported at the SSA 2018 Annual Meeting. “Before 2004, we thought an earthquake of about 8.0 was about right for … Continue Reading »

Monitoring Lava Lake Levels in Congo Volcano

15 May 2018–Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is among the world’s most active volcanoes, with a persistent lava lake as one of its defining features. In a talk at the 2018 SSA Annual Meeting, Adrien Oth of the European Center for Geodynamics and Seismology discussed how he … Continue Reading »