Earthquake Detection

Monday - 4/26/2010, 11:22am EDT

The U.S. Geological Survey has awarded $2.7 million in cooperative agreements under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to several American universities and UNAVCO, Incorporated, to improve networks that detect minute changes in the earth's crust caused by faulting in earthquake-prone regions.

The agency says monitoring the changes - undetectable except through the methods of advanced technology - is an integral part of assessing the likely rate of large earthquakes. They say, for optimal performance in real time, many existing monitoring stations will need modern sensors and improved communication systems.

Funds provided through six cooperative agreements will improve monitoring capabilities by replacing obsolete sensors.