How fast does the earthquake information get posted to the website, get sent out via the Earthquake Notification Service (ENS), ATOM feeds, etc?
USGS earthquake information mechanisms are all triggered by the same system, so they all receive the information at the same time. The time it takes for the system to receive the information primarily depends on the size and location of the earthquake:
An earthquake in California is processed and posted to the system in 2.5 minutes (on average). This is because our seismic network is very extensive in California, where there are many earthquakes and many people.
An earthquake in the U.S. outside of California (where seismic networks are not as dense), is typically posted within 8 minutes.
An earthquake outside the United States, where the seismic network is sparse in some areas, takes 20 minutes (on average) to process and post. Our webpages with realtime information are cached for 60 seconds, so there might be an additional delay of up to 60 seconds for the webpage to be updated.
From the time each system receives the information to the time you receive the information is the same for all systems, usually within a few seconds (unless there are network problems), except for the Earthquake Notification System (ENS) and the earthquake feeds, which can vary.
Since ENS has many thousands of accounts, all customized to receive different notifications, the time between ENS receiving the information and you receiving your notification can vary quite a bit. A large earthquake that generates many notifications might take up to 45 minutes to reach the last account on the list. A small earthquake that generates fewer notifications will take only a matter of several minutes to reach all accounts. The time it takes for the notifications to be sent depends on the capacity of the machines that send the email.
Social media outlets, such as Twitter, might be able to broadcast the occurrence of an earthquake faster than the USGS can using our standard mechanisms, but they cannot provide any quantitative data such as location and magnitude.
For the various Feeds, we cache different feeds for different lengths of time, so it depends on the feed you access. We try to balance data volume, how often the data in the feeds change, and server load so:
- GeoJSON 7-days and less feeds are cached for 1 minute
- Other 7-day and less feeds are cached for 5 minutes
- 30-day feeds and searches are cached for 15 minutes
- Event pages (and geojson detail feeds) are cached for 1 minute for the first 7 days after an event, and for 15 minutes after that
The Earthquake Map/List/Search interface uses GeoJSON feeds.
Can I get on a list to receive an email message when there is an earthquake? How do I sign up for earthquake notifications? Are there any Feeds I can subscribe to?
The USGS Earthquake Hazards Program recently released a new strategic plan for earthquake monitoring entitled the “Advanced National Seismic System – Current Status, Development Opportunities, Priorities, 2017-2027.”
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory’s 1912–2012 Centennial—100 Years of Tracking Eruptions and Earthquakes
HAWAI‘I ISLAND, Hawaii —The history of earthquakes and seismic monitoring in Hawai‘i during the past century will be the topic of a presentation at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo on Thursday, January 26, at 7:00 p.m.
More than $7 million in cooperative agreements will be awarded for earthquake monitoring by the U.S Geological Survey in 2010. This funding will contribute to the development and operation of the USGS Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS).
USGS will Grant Universities $5 Million to Beef Up Public Safety Grants totaling $5 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are being awarded to 13 universities nationwide to upgrade critical earthquake monitoring networks and increase public safety.
Title: ShakeAlert: The Path to West Coast Earthquake Early Warning ... how a few seconds can save lives and property
- The ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system will begin limited operations this year.
- Alerts could save lives and properties but several challenges remain.
- With millions at risk, why isn't full public alerting happening yet?
Example of results returned when searching the USGS Earthquake Catalog. The ANSS Comprehensive Earthquake Catalog (ComCat) contains earthquake source parameters (e.g. hypocenters, magnitudes, phase picks and amplitudes) and other products (e.g. moment tensor solutions, macroseismic information, tectonic summaries, maps) produced by contributing seismic...
With funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory recently upgraded its seismic monitoring network. Here, HVO staff, assisted by an HVO volunteer, installs the solar panel and antenna for one of the upgraded seismic stations on Kīlauea.
This map shows earthquakes above magnitude 4.0 in the eastern United States since 1973, the first year with a complete catalog. There are 184 earthquakes recorded. An earthquake of magnitude 4.0 or greater can cause minor or more significant damage. The circle sizes correspond to earthquake magnitude, ranging from 4.0 to 5.9 (the largest was in the Gulf of Mexico).