IIT-M researchers develop new method to detect early signs of earthquakes

A A team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) -Madras has developed a new approach for the development of robust early warning systems for earthquakes through accurate detection and detection of the first series of seismic waves.

When an earthquake occurs, it produces a series of seismic waves. The first set of waves is called the P wave and it is harmless. Its early detection is vitally important as a good estimate of the time of its arrival would help develop a robust early warning system that could give a delay before the next set of destructive waves hit the ground. The delay can vary from 30 seconds to 2 minutes, mainly depending on the distance between the epicenter location and the monitoring site.

At first glance, the delays may seem minor. But they are significant. They are sufficient to shut down nuclear reactors, transportation like the subway, and to park elevators in high-rise buildings on the nearest floor, among many other measures that can save lives.

All existing P wave appearance detection methods are based on a combination of ideas from statistical signal processing and time series modeling.

However, these methods do not sufficiently take into account some advanced ideas. When combined with a so-called time-frequency or time-spectral localization method, the efficiency of such methods can be greatly improved.

The new IIT study fills this gap. It offers a new detector and automatic selector of real-time P waves in the prediction framework with a time-frequency localization function. The proposed approach provides a diverse set of capabilities to accurately detect the onset of the P wave, especially in so-called low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) conditions that all existing methods fail. not to reach.

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This research was undertaken by Kanchan Aggarwal, a doctoral student under the supervision of Professor Arun K Tangirala of the Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Madras. A report on their study was published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE. The research was partially funded by the Board of Research in Nuclear Sciences, an advisory body of the Department of Atomic Energy.

Emphasizing the practical applications of their work, Professor Tangirala says: “The proposed framework is not necessarily limited to the detection of seismic events but is generic. It can also be used for fault detection and isolation in other areas. In addition, it can integrate any predictive model, including machine learning and deep learning models, which will reduce human intervention in detection.

Aggarwal says, “Information about the arrival of P waves is also crucial in determining other event source parameters, such as magnitude, depth and location of the epicenter. Therefore, a solution to the P-wave detection problem that is robust, precise and precise is essential to correctly estimate the details of the event and to reduce the damage caused by the earthquake or other triggered events.

(Courtesy of the article: India Science Wire)

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