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TitleCanada's automated earthquake notification service
AuthorWetmiller, R J; Adams, J; Woodgold, C
SourceAbstracts & electronic proceedings, 2007 Annual Conference, A climate of change/Résumés et actes électroniques, congrès annuel 2007, Un climat de changement; 2007 p. 137-138
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20070228
PublisherCanadian Dam Association
MeetingCanadian Dam Association 2007 Annual Conference / Congrès annuel 2007 de l'Association canadienne des barrages; St. John's; CA; Sept. 22-27, 2007
Lang.English; French
Subjectsenvironmental geology; earthquakes; earthquake risk; earthquake magnitudes; seismological network; dams
ProgramCanadian Hazard Information Service
LinksCanadian Dam Association
AbstractThe Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) provides automatic notification of significant earthquakes to agencies who need to respond rapidly. Currently dam operators in Ontario, New Brunswick and Quebec use this service ("ANHAS") to prioritize and set the level of dam inspection. GSC uses its own 120-seismograph network plus data from another 90 seismographs in Canada and the U.S. Automatic earthquake location software (AUTOLOC) provides magnitude and location estimates, usually within 5-10 minutes of an earthquake, and GSC uses three independent sources of real-time AUTOLOC information for reliability. The notifications contain the basic earthquake information as well as response actions pre-defined for each client's facility and are transmitted by a variety of secure telecommunication means. Most dam operators now use response schemes based on ad hoc combinations of earthquake magnitude and its distance from each facility. Such schemes are not optimal, and have inherent flaws. A more reliable way would be to (i) estimate the peak ground acceleration at each site using the ground motion relations of the National Building Code, (ii) classify the shaking level (e.g. Negligible <1.25, Minimal 1.25-2.5, Weak 2.5-5, Moderate 5-10, and Strong >10%g), and (iii) base the response on the shaking classification level and the dam category. GSC encourages the development of such a national best-practice earthquake response scheme for Canadian dam operators.