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New Geonet site cuts wait for quake info

GeoNet’s new earthquake measurement website is live, giving enthusiasts their vital statistics within minutes of a shake.

GeoNet Rapid went live today and gives details about an earthquake’s strength and location within two minutes.

GeoNet, an online collaboration between GNS Science and the Earthquake Commission, has been the go-to website for many people and the media to find out earthquake details.

Its popularity has soared since Canterbury’s September 4, 2010 earthquake.

GeoNet outreach co-ordinator Sara Page said the new website would cut the wait for information from about 15 minutes to two.

“The new system is all automatic. As soon as the first little bit of data comes in the computer system is able to start giving a location within about two minutes.”

The current system was slower as a duty officer had to be notified every time there was a tremor and then interpret the data themselves.

Information would be also updated as more data came in, Page said.

“Usually within about four minutes all of the data has come in and it’s got a final location and all this information. There won’t be massive changes. It might change from a [magnitude] 3.1 to a 3.2.”

GeoNet Rapid has been launched as a beta site, meaning it is still in the testing phase and likely to have a few teething problems.

GeoNet recorded over nineteen thousand earthquakes in 2011, around one every twenty seven minutes.


– Fairfax


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