Seismic Networks


The xGraph cut its teeth in the world of Geophysics. The USGS’ National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) has used Dr. Caryl Johnson’s digital technology to process seismic data since the 1980’s. In 2004, they adopted xGraph’s grandparent NexusX to unite more than 10,000 seismic sensors in 108 different networks across the globe. Because the software can dynamically adapt to changes in sensor and network arrays, our technology is able to detect and analyze seismic waves produced by everything from backfiring cars to nuclear blasts. By processing this data in real-time, the NEIC is able to alert at-risk populations in minutes rather than months, saving countless lives.

Introspective Systems has developed new approaches that bring seismic networks into the 21st century using all of the capabilities of modern computers and xGraph for unprecedented analysis and monitoring of seismic events. Introspective Systems network capabilities are based upon xGraph a highly dynamic executable graph platform that distributes the analytics across millions of processes or processors.

Behind the Seismic Network: The core of an earthquake early warning system is the seismic association engine. The job of an earthquake associator is to gather diverse of data and data types such as phase picks, beams, or other data from social media into a collection discrete events, each representing the occurrence of an earthquake, quarry blast, or nuclear detonation. This is a multi to multi relationship problem that needs to be resolved into a multi to one problem. Mathematically the problem is represented in a graph. Legacy approaches to the automation of this process have traditionally been procedural in nature, and more recently combinatorial as in some of the applications of Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) in this problem domain. A similar approach, as a dense, global network of association nodes, has been in use at the International Data Center (IDC) of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty Organization since its inception in the late 1990s.

Introspective Systems Seismic Networks implementation is radically different from those in use by other seismic observatories. The xGraph framework provides a real-time, in tempo approach that streamlines acquisition and analysis without batching of picks or other data. The algorithm is neither procedural nor is it combinatorial as with MCMC based approaches, for example. Instead it is draws from complexity theory where a earthquake catalog listing is created as a guided, self-organized criticality.

View the American Geophysical Union presentation to learn more.