USGS

Earthquake Early Warning
4:24 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

What Would You Do With A Few Seconds Warning Of Coming Quake?

The proposed early earthquake warning system, included in the federal budget this weekend, is designed to give a heads up about strong shaking coming from a distance along the West Coast.
Credit Andy Maguire / Flickr

The new federal budget sent to the president's desk over the weekend included $5 million for an earthquake early warning along the West Coast. 

The proposed early warning system can't predict earthquakes. It's designed to give a heads up about strong shaking coming from a distance. It has worked because electronic signals can travel faster than rumbling over the surface.

Depending on how close you are to the epicenter, U.S. Geological Service geophysicist Doug Given said you could get an alert anywhere between ten seconds to a minute in advance.

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Coal Risks
5:47 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Is Coal Dust Risky? Scientists Are Looking Into It

Scientists are studying the effects of coal on the surrounding environment after it leaves the train.
Credit Mark Herren / Flickr

Coal has been transported around the country by rail for decades. But very little research has been done on what coal does to the environment when it escapes from trains.With two large coal export terminals proposed for Washington state, one federal agency is hoping to add good science to the debate over coal in the Northwest.


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Seismic Mapping
5:27 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

USGS Tries Human Racket To Create Seismic Hazard Survey

A seismic "thumper" used to map earthquake faults.
Credit Horemu / Wikimedia Commons

Research geologists just finished a field trial to test a less invasive way to complete seismic hazard surveys. The federal scientists attempted to map an earthquake fault under Seattle simply by listening for underground echoes from all the noise we humans create at the surface.

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Earthquake Maps
6:01 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

New Earthquake Maps Are Out

The U.S. Geological Survey Thursday published its first updated earthquake maps in six years
Credit usgs

The U.S. Geological Survey published its first updated earthquake maps in six years Thursday. The new maps show higher risks in the Pacific Northwest. The new maps are a synthesis of new research and up-to-date modeling techniques, applied to seismic hazards across the country.

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