Congress included $5 million in an omnibus funding package for the US Geologic Survey (USGS) Natural Hazards program to begin implementing an earthquake early warning system on the west coast. The omnibus package passed Saturday with support from President Barack Obama. UO worked in coalition with the University of Washington, University of California--Berkeley, and Caltech to support funding for the project which will create research opportunities and enhance public safety by increasing the number of seismic sensors distribute throughout the west coast.
On December 1, Governor John Kitzhaber proposed a 2015-17 budget that includes investments in earthquake monitoring. Under the Governor's recommendation, the state will invest in an array of 15 seismometers that are already installed across the state. The sensor array, which is designed to detect seismic action, is owned by the National Science Foundation (NSF) with a scheduled move to Alaska in 2015; the Governor's budget proposes that the state purchase the array as other jurisdiction have.
The implementation of a federal earthquake early warning system combined with the proposed purchase of the NSF will enhance earthquake research at the university. The purchase will also strengthen Oregon's contributions to the USGS Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN). Through agreements with UO, UW and other institutions PNSN operates seismic stations, acquires seismic data from other organizations, processes the data into information products, disseminates them, and makes the data available to the public. PNSN earthquake data, including data from the array to be purchased under the Governor's proposed budget, can be viewed by the public at http://pnsn.org/.