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The UK's earthquake detection network

Event organised by Society for Earthquake and Civil Engineering Dynamics

30 September 2020

This event has now ended

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To engineers with an interest in earthquakes there are a number of advantages in continually and accurately monitoring seismic activity in the UK. Monitoring is an integral part of the way we predict seismic hazard over a desired period. If there is an earthquake it allows us to assess whether intensity measures, like peak ground acceleration, are problematic at a location in terms of an engineered structure.

If working on ground motion prediction equations it allows our models to be tested. If engaged in an activity that causes earthquakes (dam impoundment, fracking, geothermal energy, deep waste water disposal etc.) it allows the effects of such behaviour to be discriminated from background activity. Where an industrial activity is suspected of causing tremors it can allow such claims to be verified or dismissed.

However, this talk does not focus on what we do with earthquake data, but how we get that data in the UK. This presentation outlines the types of seismic stations operated in the UK, how data is handled and some of the pitfalls and problems of running a network that has been operational since 1969. As well as maintaining its own network of sensors the BGS runs seismic stations on behalf of a number of companies across the UK.

These are typically to provide absolute measurements of ground motion during an earthquake and are installed at dams and power stations. In some cases these stations aid site specific characterization in advance of major civil engineering projects. The design and use of these site specific monitoring stations will be discussed in detail, including how the data from such stations is combined with the wider BGS network to enhance the functionality of the data.

For more information please contact:

Shelly-Ann Russell