Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Congressional Hazards Caucus Alliance Invites You to a Public Briefing: Faults in the East

Faults in the East - New Madrid Fault Zone and Recent Virginia Earthquake - Understanding Risks

The New Madrid and Wabash Valley seismic zones affect 8 states – Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama. A series of very large magnitude earthquakes and hundreds of aftershocks occurred in the New Madrid region in 1811 and 1812, causing havoc for the small population of the time. A magnitude 5.8 earthquake in the Central Virginia Seismic Zone in August of 2011 shook Mineral, Virginia and was felt over much of the Eastern United States. The earthquake shutdown the North Anna Nuclear Power Plant and caused damage in Virginia, Washington DC and beyond. Seismic zones in the East can generate significant earthquakes and tend to surprise people who are not accustomed to earthquakes. The briefing will discuss efforts to understand earthquakes in the East and to reduce risks to life, property and infrastructure.

Thursday, March 29 2012
2253 Rayburn
10:00 to 11:00 AM

Click here for Meeting Flyer (.pdf) ...


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Global Earthquake Model - GEM

On Wednesday / March 7th, Dr. Ross Stein, a senior scientist with the Earthquake Science Center in Menlo Park, will visit the USGS Advanced Systems Center in Reston, VA. At 10:00 AM he will give a talk about the Global Earthquake Model (GEM), an international public-private partnership building a seismic hazard and risk model for the world, in which USGS scientists are deeply involved.

GEM <> manages a collaborative effort aimed at developing and deploying tools and resources for earthquake risk assessment worldwide. It aims to create global standards for seismic hazard and risk assessment, and to attack the problems that no risk models exist for many vulnerable parts of the world, and even where models do exist, they are often inaccessible. Under GEM, hundreds of organizations and individual experts, professionals and practitioners are working together on uniform global databases, methodologies, tools and open-source software.

GEM grew out of a $30K USGS Venture Cap grant in 2006, and now has pledges of $30M for its five-year program. Ross was a founding member of GEM, and now chairs its Scientific Advisory Board. The United States recently became a member nation of GEM, represented by the USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), which provides funding to GEM.

The talk will be given in room 3A409 (aka Chief Geologist's Conference Room), at 10:00 AM tomorrow.