Elizabeth Cochran, Arturo Iglesias Mendoza and Allen Husker: Quake Catcher Network in Mexico

Elizabeth Cochran, from the Earth Sciences Department at UC Riverside, and Arturo Iglesias Mendoza and Allen Husker, from UNAM's Instituto de Geofísica, received the 2009 George E. Brown, Jr. Award for the project that best reflects the goals of the UC MEXUS-CONACYT Collaborative Research Grant Program. Their joint project initiated a low-cost seismic network in Mexico that which will generate Alertmaps for the Quake Catcher Network (QCN) of areas affected after large earthquakes. The project allows for a Mexican extension of the QCN, a low-cost distributed computing network based in California. The Mexican network system is already housed in the Mexican Seismological Service (SSN) with its own website and plans are to integrate it with the SSN Data center. Over 30 sensors have been installed in schools, hospitals, hotels, and public buildings in Mexico City and Acapulco so far (figure 1), in conjunction with a curriculum that teaches elementary and high school students about earthquakes and seismic waves. Future plans include installation of approximately 80 additional sensors throughout seismically active areas of Mexico along the Pacific coast to provide additional information for the detection and study of moderate to large earthquakes. Husker recently received additional grant support from UNAM to continue with the project. Cochran now has a position as research geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey and visiting associate in geophysics at the California Institute of Technology, while also retaining an assistant adjunct position at UCR. For additional information please consult Dr. Cochran's , Dr. Iglesias Mendoza's, or Dr. Allen Husker's websites or their collaborative grant page.

The current location of sensors for the Quake Catcher Network in Mexico. The plans are to expand the network to the entire Pacific coast.

Entry photo on the home page: A sign to a small pueblo on the border of Estado de México and Guerrero (photo by Jose Luis Cruz Cervantes, Servicio Sismológico Nacional).