Developing a Microinsurance Plan for California Earthquakes

19 April 2017-DENVER — Nine out of ten Californians are uninsured against earthquake risk, which could slow economic recovery in neighborhoods and cities around the state after a damaging quake. On-demand or use-based small insurance policies — sometimes called microinsurance — could help fill in that financial gap, according to a presentation at the 2017 SSA Annual Meeting.

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Oklahoma Is Laboratory for Research on Human-Induced Earthquakes

19 April 2017-DENVER — In 2016, a spate of earthquakes in Oklahoma resulted in significant damage to homes and businesses. Earthquakes such as the February 2016 magnitude 5.1 Fairview quake, November 2016’s 5.0 Cushing quake, and the September 2016 5.8 Pawnee quake — the state’s largest in historic times — have made Oklahoma a laboratory for studying human-induced seismicity, according to researchers gathering at the 2017 SSA Annual meeting.

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Seismic Mapping Helps Detect Abandoned Mines in Wyoming

19 April 2017-DENVER — Researchers working in Wyoming have deployed a full suite of technologies, including seismic data acquisition and multi-attribute processing originally developed for shallow fault imaging, to locate the hazardous underground voids left behind by coal mining in the state. At the 2017 SSA Annual Meeting, Jamey Turner of Fugro discussed his team’s efforts to locate mining voids, which can pose a risk to buildings, roads and other infrastructure.

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Seismic Listening System Offers New Look at Old Faithful Geyser

19 April 2017-DENVER — After deploying hundreds of seismometers around the Old Faithful Geyser in 2015 and 2016, scientists have a clearer picture of how the geyser erupts and what may lie beneath the popular tourist attraction in Yellowstone National Park. At the 2017 SSA Annual Meeting, Jamie Farrell of the University of Utah described how this seismic ear to the ground is helping the park plan for its future infrastructure needs.

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High-Flying Experiments Demonstrate Potential of Balloon-Borne Infrasound Detection

18 April 2017-DENVER — Experiments conducted high in the skies over New Mexico suggest that balloon-borne sensors could be useful in detecting the infrasound signals generated by small, extraterrestrial debris entering Earth’s atmosphere, according to a report at the 2017 SSA Annual Meeting.

Infrasound, sometimes called low-frequency sound, is sound waves that occur at frequencies lower than the limit of human hearing. Infrasound signals can remain strong as they travel over large distances, making them useful for pinpointing the location and size of events such as nuclear explosions, meteorite strikes, volcanic eruptions and sometimes earthquake ruptures.

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Bombay Beach Highlights Difficulties in Earthquake Forecasting

18 April 2017-DENVER — In September 2016, about 100 small earthquakes between magnitude 2 and 4.3 took place in Bombay Beach, rattling the region in Southern California and raising questions about whether the swarm’s location near the southern end of the San Andreas Fault would trigger a larger earthquake.

In a presentation at the 2017 SSA Annual Meeting, U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Andrea Llenos discussed lessons learned from the 2016 Bombay Beach swarm, in particular the challenges in modeling swarms and communicating their risk to the public.

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