Monday, July 15, 2019 - 06:45 External News

(TNS) — More than 500,000 people have downloaded Los Angeles County’s new ShakeAlertLA app to warn them of impending earthquakes.

So when the two strongest earthquakes in almost two decades hit Southern California this month, those residents were surprised by what they saw on their smartphones: nothing.

Officials were quick to explain to outraged app users that the shaking in the county wasn’t strong enough to trigger an alert.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - 08:45 External News

The powerful Mojave Desert earthquakes that rocked California ended a years-long lull in major seismic activity and raised new interest in an early warning system being developed for the West Coast.

The ShakeAlert system is substantially built in California and overall is about 55% complete, with much of the remaining installation of seismic sensor stations to be done in the Pacific Northwest, said Robert de Groot of the U.S. Geological Survey.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - 10:30 External News

(TNS) — California will get shorter bursts of more intense rainfall as the climate warms, a new study by researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography suggests.

The study, “Precipitation regime change in Western North America: The role of Atmospheric Rivers,” was published Tuesday in the journal Nature Scientific Reports. It projects that California will face greater extremes of wet and dry seasons, with rainy periods dominated by atmospheric rivers — powerful plumes of airborne moisture that drench the West Coast.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - 05:15 External News

When transportation officials consider a construction project, they typically drill into the ground to determine the composition of the earth beneath the work site. The information gleaned from those tests helps determine the design or repair requirements, but it’s an imperfect science, as the results can contain information gaps due to differing conditions between drilling locations—even if they’re just feet apart.

In Arkansas, officials address that problem by using non-invasive seismic imaging—a so-called “ultrasound for roads” that uses existing technology to help highway planners more accurately map the subsurface. The project, a research partnership between the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) and the University of Arkansas, aims to help road projects stay on schedule and on budget by providing detailed information without the need for exploratory drilling.

Monday, July 8, 2019 - 05:15 External News

Over the next week, Southern California has only a 27% chance of experiencing a third earthquake greater than magnitude 6, but a 96% chance of going through a tremor of magnitude 5 or higher.

Those precise probabilities were generated by scientists at the United States Geological Survey (USGS), using models based on longstanding principles of seismic behavior and decades of data on aftershocks from earthquakes.

Sunday, July 7, 2019 - 05:45 External News

(TNS) - For the second consecutive day, a major earthquake shook Southern California and was felt far beyond, stopping the NBA’s Summer League games in Las Vegas, forcing the evacuation of rides at Disneyland in Anaheim, and reminding residents that the state is always on unstable ground and destined for more.

It registered a magnitude of 7.1 on Friday night and was the strongest earthquake to hit the state in two decades, causing fires in the small town of Ridgecrest (population 29,000), and sending shock waves felt more than 300 miles away in all directions – Sacramento, Phoenix, Mexico.

Sunday, July 7, 2019 - 05:45 External News

RIDGECREST, Calif. — Crews in Southern California assessed damage to cracked and burned buildings, broken roads, leaking water and gas lines and other infrastructure Saturday after the largest earthquake the region has seen in nearly 20 years jolted an area from Sacramento to Las Vegas to Mexico.

No fatalities or major injuries were reported after Friday night’s 7.1-magnitude earthquake. But warnings by seismologists that large aftershocks were expected to continue for days — if not weeks — prompted further precautions.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019 - 09:30 External News

The state agency in charge of earthquake study and preparation, as well as monitoring mining efforts in Oregon, could be shut down after going over budget for the second time in four years.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, widely known as DOGAMI, will lose three staff members and the Governor’s office is considering whether the agency should continue to exist in its current form given its financial issues.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019 - 10:00 External News

Deepfake videos are hard for untrained eyes to detect because they can be quite realistic. Whether used as personal weapons of revenge, to manipulate financial markets or to destabilize international relations, videos depicting people doing and saying things they never did or said are a fundamental threat to the longstanding idea that “seeing is believing.” Not anymore.

Most deepfakes are made by showing a computer algorithm many images of a person, and then having it use what it saw to generate new face images. At the same time, their voice is synthesized, so it both looks and sounds like the person has said something new.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 09:45 External News

(TNS) — After battling the most destructive wildfires in California’s history over the past two years, Cal Fire is rolling out emergency fuel reduction projects to help protect the state’s most vulnerable communities.

The 35 projects span the state, from Siskiyou to San Diego counties. One crucial effort in the Sacramento area, the North Fork American River Shaded Fuel Break, is a fuel break project that covers 850 acres around the city of Colfax in Placer County.

A fuel break is an area of land where vegetation has been transformed to make fires more controllable, Cal Fire officials told reporters Thursday at the Colfax project site. Methods involve chipping and prescribed burning.

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