Southeastern Section - 62nd Annual Meeting (20-21 March 2013)

Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 4:05 PM


HUÉRFANO, Victor, Puerto Rico Seismic Network, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, Call Box 9000, Mayagüez, PR 00680 and LOPEZ, Alberto Manuel, Department of Geology, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, Call Box 9000, Mayaguez, PR 00681,

The Caribbean region has a history of large damaging earthquakes and tsunamis affecting coastal areas. Among them are those of Jamaica in 1692, the Virgin Islands in 1867, Mona Passage in 1918, the Dominican Republic in 1946 and the most recent Mw 7.0 Haiti event, which killed more than 250,000 people. The need to establish a system of rapid notification for earthquake/tsunami alerting in the Caribbean region has long been recognized as a critical service. The Caribbean is monitored jointly by national/regional/local seismic networks, and there are plans to establish a Caribbean Tsunami Warning Center. Presently, the Puerto Rico Seismic Network (PRSN) from the Department of Geology at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez has joined with NOAA/NWS in an effort to establish an early warning system for PRVI and the Caribbean region. To that effort, PRSN currently receives RT streams from more than 100 broad-band seismic stations, more than 20 sea-level gauges and more than 20 continuously operated GPS high-rate stations to provide solutions in a timely framework. PRSN uses a suite of computational packages (EarthWorm/EarlyBird/TideView/PRDANIS) to locate and determine the size of events in the Caribbean with magnitudes greater than 4.5, and evaluate whether a tsunami was generated by monitoring sea-level data. Our efforts serve as foundations for a broader Caribbean Early Warning System (CEWS) with the added capability of estimating strong ground shaking and the tsunami potential in advance. As a result of the implementation of a Caribbean-wide monitoring system is the collaboration among countries of the Caribbean basin to improve sea-level and geodetic monitoring capabilities, and the exchange and sharing of data among international geodetic, seismic and tsunami centers. The goal of this presentation is to describe the CEWS, including the real time earthquake and tsunami monitoring as well as the specific protocols used to broadcast earthquake/tsunami messages.