WP4 - Early Warning and rapid assessment of earthquake damage potential
WP Leader: Aldo Zollo - AMRA/Department of Physics, University of Naples Federico II

The WP is aimed at the design, development, implementation and testing of regional and nation-wide prototype systems for real-time efficient risk mitigation actions in European test-sites, based on integrated earthquake early warning specifically designed for a number of potential engineering applications. Data processing techniques and computing algorithms are designed to enhance the rapidity and alert notification and the reliability of predicted earthquake and ground motion parameters through an evolutionary and probabilistic parameter estimation strategy.
Accurate uncertainty characterization is crucial in allowing potential end-users to make the optimal risk-mitigating actions. One main objective within WP4 is to expand and upgrade the existing real-time algorithms for regional and threshold-based EEW approach to a more generalized earthquake information system with continuous characterization of uncertainty. We will investigate the physical grounds of earthquake early warning with the main aim to assess uncertainties and reliability of source parameter estimation from early P-wave measurements along with the feasibility of extending the early warning methodologies to very large earthquakes (M>7-8)
The false alarm problem is approached in Tasks 4.1,4.2 and 4.5. The procedures developed in Task 4.1 will minimize the probability of false alarms due to instrumental effects (wrong signals in a sensor or/and in the transmission system). False alarms can also be due to an overestimation of the expected PGA at a given site.
This is not a significant deterrent to issuing a public warning: the earthquake will occur, although with a lower intensity than expected, so may not be perceived as a false alarm by the public. However, it is a very significant problem for automatic actions such as unnecessarily shutting down life lines, transport systems, sensitive industrial plants etc. This issue will be dealt with in Task 4.2, particularly for the application to life-lines and in the random field ground motion modelling of EEW for structural control.
The final aim is to provide with innovative technological and methodological solutions for interfaced real-time, earthquake monitoring and active control systems for early warning, running in automated mode and being of support for risk management, response and decision-making.
On the other hand innovative approaches for rapid detection of damaging events, such as the internet-based information sharing tools (such as Facebook and Twitter) and production of actionable information for emergency response personnel within a few minutes of their occurrence are essential to mitigate the human impact of earthquakes. This work package will explore and implement at a prototype stage, new systems for the rapid collection of information from the eyewitnesses, the first informed persons, through Internet based applications and merge them in a unique situation map.

Structure of the WP
Task 4.1: The physical grounds of early warning: Real-time estimation of seismic source properties, uncertainties and resolution
Task 4.2: Engineering applications of early warning
Task 4.3: Mobile early-warning seismic network
Task 4.4: Innovative Solutions for Rapid Detection, Alert, Damage Assessment
Task 4.5: Regional and Threshold-based early-warning using dense nation networks