Stray Signals

Amateur Radio Operators Help Fill Earthquake Donut Holes – Eos

If you’ve ever seen tall antennas rising from everyday residences in your community and wondered what they are for, it could be that those homes belong to ham radio enthusiasts who enjoy communicating with each other over the airwaves. In addition to having fun with their radios and finding camaraderie, many ham radio operators are also prepared to help neighbors and authorities communicate during disasters. One such group of radio enthusiasts is poised now to serve yet another important role: They will be contributing to a more robust delivery mechanism for critical seismic intensity reports after major earthquakes through the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Did You Feel It? (DYFI) system.

Twenty Years, Millions of Reports

DYFI is a popular way for the public to help document macroseismic shaking intensity—if your answer to “Did you feel it?” is yes, it was macroseismic shaking—and contribute to earthquake science. The magnitude 5.1 earthquake that hit rural North Carolina on 9 August 2020, for example, resulted in more than 100,000 responses submitted to the DYFI system from people residing in more than 15 states.

DYFI involves a user answering a questionnaire about their experience and observations—from which USGS determines the shaking intensity at that person’s location—and has been in operation for 2 decades (1999–2020) in the United States and for nearly 15 years globally. In that period, USGS has amassed more than 5 million individual DYFI intensity reports, spanning wide ranges of intensities and felt distances. In addition to the scientific value of this collection, studies have shown that this type of civic engagement by the public improves awareness of natural hazards [Celsi et al., 2005]. For example, DYFI engagement can help clarify the difference between earthquake intensity (the effects and strength of shaking at a specific location) and magnitude (related to the area and distance of slip on a fault).

DYFI is also used to help constrain USGS ShakeMap, an important tool for situational awareness and emergency management widely used to depict an earthquake’s shaking distribution and its likely effect on communities. For instance, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) uses ShakeMap (and thus DYFI) to estimate losses immediately following damaging earthquakes in the United States to guide and expedite state and national

Read the full article at https://eos.org/science-updates/amateur-radio-operators-help-fill-earthquake-donut-holes. STRAY SIGNALS does not claim ownership of the article. The original author is responsible for the content of this post

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