Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Earth Sciences

Committee Chair

Chris Cramer

Committee Member

Eunseo Choi

Committee Member

Shahram Pezeshk

Committee Member

Mitch Withers


Part 1: Research in the last decade on Earthquake Early Warning Systems (EEWSs) has undergone rapid development in terms of theoretical and methodological advances in real time data analysis, improved telemetry, and computer technology and is becoming a useful tool for practical real time seismic hazard mitigation. The main focus of this study is to undertake a feasibility study of an EEWS for the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ) from the standpoint of source location. Magnitude determination is addressed in a separate paper. The NMSZ covers a wide area with several heavily populated cities, vital infrastructures, and facilities located within a radius of less than 70 km from the epicenters of the 1811-1812 earthquakes. One of the challenges associated with the NMSZ is that while low to moderate levels of seismic activity are common, larger earthquakes are rare (i.e. there are no instrumentally recorded data for earthquakes with magnitudes greater than M5.5 in the NMSZ). We also recognize that it may not be realistic to provide early warning for all possible sources as is done on the west coast U.S. and we therefore focus on a specific source zone. We examine the stations within the NMSZ in order to answer the question What changes should be applied to the NMSZ network to make it suitable for earthquake early warning (EEW). We also explore needed changes to the Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS) Earthquake Monitoring System Real Time (AQMS RT) data acquisition system to make it useful for EEW. Our results show that EEW is feasible, though several technical challenges remain in incorporating its use with the present network.Part 2: Increasing vulnerability of metropolitan areas within stable continental regions (SCR), such as Memphis, TN and St. Louis, MO near the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ), to earthquakes and the very low probability level at which short term earthquake forecasting is possible make an earthquake early warning system (EEWS) a viable alternative for effective real-time risk reduction in these cities. In this study, we explore practical approaches to earthquake early warning (EEWS), and test the adaptability and potential of the real-time monitoring system in the NMSZ. We determine empirical relations based on amplitude and frequency magnitude proxies from the initial four seconds of the P-waveform records available from the Cooperative New Madrid Seismic Network (CNMSN) database for magnitude ????>2.1. The amplitude-based proxies include low pass filtered peak displacement (Pd), peak velocity (Pv), and integral of the velocity squared (IV2), whereas the frequency-based proxies include predominant period (????????), characteristic period (????????), and log average period (????????????????). Very few studies have considered areas with lower magnitude events. With an active EEW system in the NMSZ, damage resulting from the catastrophic event, as witnessed in 1811-1812, may be mitigated in real-time.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest