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Estimating Intensities and/or Strong Motion Parameters Using Civilian Monitoring Videos: The May 12, 2008, Wenchuan Earthquake

Abstract

One of the important issues in macroseismology and engineering seismology is how to get as much intensity and/or strong motion data as possible. We collected and studied several cases in the May 12, 2008, Wenchuan earthquake, exploring the possibility of estimating intensities and/or strong ground motion parameters using civilian monitoring videos which were deployed originally for security purposes. We used 53 video recordings in different places to determine the intensity distribution of the earthquake, which is shown to be consistent with the intensity distribution mapped by field investigation, and even better than that given by the Community Internet Intensity Map. In some of the videos, the seismic wave propagation is clearly visible, and can be measured with the reference of some artificial objects such as cars and/or trucks. By measuring the propagating wave, strong motion parameters can be roughly but quantitatively estimated. As a demonstration of this ‘propagating-wave method’, we used a series of civilian videos recorded in different parts of Sichuan and Shaanxi and estimated the local PGAs. The estimate is compared with the measurement reported by strong motion instruments. The result shows that civilian monitoring video provide a practical way of collecting and estimating intensity and/or strong motion parameters, having the advantage of being dynamic, and being able to be played back for further analysis, reflecting a new trend for macroseismology in our digital era.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Saitoh, Y., Hori, M., and Sutoh, A. (1997), Possibility of security cameras as strong motion measurement system, Proc. of 24th Earthquake Eng. Sympo (in Japanese).

  2. 2.

    Wu, Z.L., Xia, M., Yang, X.L., and Jiang, C.S. (2008), Estimating intensity and strong ground motion parameters using monitoring video?Cases in the May 12, 2008, Wenchuan Earthquake, The 7th General Assembly of Asian Seismological Commission, 24-28 November, Tsukuba, Japan, abstract A41-06.

  3. 3.

    Department of Emergency Response and Rescue, China Earthquake Administration, 2008, Open File of Field Investigation.

  4. 4.

    Department of Emergency Response and Rescue, China Earthquake Administration, 2008, Open File of Field Investigation.

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Acknowledgments

Thanks are due to the Data Management Centre of China National Seismic Network at the Institute of Geophysics, China Earthquake Administration, for providing waveform data for this study. We thank Dr. Zhao Yizhe and Dr. Peng Hanshu for their help with this work, and Prof. Chen Zuyu and Dr. Miao Chonggang for stimulating discussions. Thanks are also due to the anonymous referees for their encouraging comments and suggestions for making the descriptions more clear. This work is supported by NSFC Project 40674018.

Author information

Correspondence to Zhongliang Wu.

Additional information

Notes with printing: Video recordings mentioned in the figures are attached as electronic supplementary material, because some of them have not been available any more long after the earthquake. Further original data can be obtained from the first author (geoyang1@gmail.com) of this paper.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary material 1 (WMV 1.33 mb)

Supplementary material 2 (WMV 904 kb)

Supplementary material 3 (WMV 676 kb)

Supplementary material 4 (WMV 807 kb)

Supplementary material 5 (WMV 248 kb)

Supplementary material 6 (WMV 901 kb)

Supplementary material 7 (WMV 225 kb)

Supplementary material 1 (WMV 1.33 mb)

Supplementary material 2 (WMV 904 kb)

Supplementary material 3 (WMV 676 kb)

Supplementary material 4 (WMV 807 kb)

Supplementary material 5 (WMV 248 kb)

Supplementary material 6 (WMV 901 kb)

Supplementary material 7 (WMV 225 kb)

Appendix

Appendix

See Figs. 6, 7

Fig. 6
figure6

USGS Community Internet Intensity Map for the Wenchuan Earthquake (http://pasadena.wr.usgs.gov/shake/ous/STORE/X2008ryan/ciim_display.html, last accessed 2008/08/20)

Fig. 7
figure7

Distribution of strong motion stations and the epicenter of the Wenchuan earthquake (reproduced from Li et al., 2008b)

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Yang, X., Wu, Z., Jiang, C. et al. Estimating Intensities and/or Strong Motion Parameters Using Civilian Monitoring Videos: The May 12, 2008, Wenchuan Earthquake. Pure Appl. Geophys. 168, 753–766 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00024-010-0168-z

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Keywords

  • Intensity
  • parameters of strong ground motion
  • civilian monitoring video
  • macroseismology