CWU News

CWU playing a significant role in developing an earthquake early-warning system

A slow and imperceptible earthquake is rumbling deep under Puget Sound, as it does for a few weeks every year or so, and while it goes unnoticed by residents, computers at a Central Washington University lab are tracking every tiny tremor.

That data being recorded with GPS technology could soon boost the accuracy of an early earthquake warning system being developed for the West Coast.

“If we had an earthquake here right now, the compressional waves, which move at 3 miles per second, would take 33 seconds to get to Seattle, but a computer can send a message in five seconds, so you’ve got 28 seconds of warning,” said CWU seismology professor Tim Melbourne. “That’s not a lot of time, but you can do something.”

Read more of this story in the Yakima Herald-Republic.