Earthquake Early Warning for B.C.: Bob Crosby

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Are we closer to the “Big One”?

June speaker, Bob Crosby, updated us on the work Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) has been doing on the earthquake early warning system and how it will work for residents of S.W. BC.   It is operated by the University of Victoria. The main observatory is the Neptune network which is currently the largest and most complex wired undersea observatory network in the world. The network has several observations stations deep in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of Vancouver Island, many in the subduction zone. The subduction zone is where the Juan de Fuca Plate and the North American Plate ride up on each other. Several minor quakes are recorded each day. The last major quake in the subduction zone was in 1700 and deep earthquakes occurred in 1949, 1968 and 2001.

The early warning system will give agencies about 30 seconds to 2 minutes notification of a tsunami warning. This information is being automated so pipelines, refineries, firehouse doors can be shut off or opened as a preventative measure. Shoreline communities get their tsunami warnings to head to higher ground.

While Bob said he can’t predict earthquakes he can give probabilities for the next big one: – a 1 in 3 chance of a mega thrust earthquake and tsunami in the Cascadia fault in the next 50 years: a 1 in 7 chance of a mega thrust earthquake and tsunami off the BC coast in the next 50 years and a 40-80% probability of a tsunami of greater than 1.5 meters (5 ft) on the outer BC coast in 50 years. You feeling lucky!

For more information see the links below Bob has provided and a google map link supplied by Heinz Dahn.

Heinz Dahn Link: I thought I would share this link on the topic I mentioned at the meeting.   Coming soon to a smart phone near you:

Bob Crosby Links:  Someone mentioned an enhancement to Google Maps to give warning of an impending earthquake. I did some research but could only find a feature, that starting today, shows the “shake map” after an earthquake has finished; it does not give warning (I was sceptical of that claim). I.e. it shows you on a map, in concentric colour-coded circles, how much shaking probably happened after the fact. If you are driving and someone has indicated, say, a closed road due to the earthquake, it will steer you around it. You can read about it here:

and here:

Bob will be giving a 2 hour talk (minus intermission) for the VIU Saturday Speakers session on Saturday November 16 at 10:00 at Nanoose Place. Here is the link:

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