QuakeFinder Blog

Thank You Henry Dela Pena!

The QuakeFinder team would like to thank Henry Dela Pena for his dedicated service to the project.

Henry is our ‘Operations Fellow’ in Southern California and supports the team in maintaining and upgrading our stations and sensors. As of August 25th, he completed his portion of QuakeFinder’s ‘California 2016 Sweep’ – wherein we are visiting every one of our 125 stations in California to perform annual maintenance. Site visits this year also included some key hardware/software upgrades that are making our system even more robust.

Henry’s region is especially challenging as it covers the Mojave desert and other difficult-to-reach and remote sites. He performed his tasks diligently and on schedule completing the sweep of 38 sites – each taking many hours to complete in challenging environments. The QuakeFinder data streams from his region are continuing to flow from those sites flawlessly.

Thank you Henry!

M 6.2 Earthquake In Central Italy

The QuakeFinder Team wishes to show our support for the families of victims of the Aug 24th M 6.2 earthquake near Perugia, Italy.
Researchers worldwide are investigating ways to provide advanced warning ahead of major earthquakes.
QuakeFinder is working diligently with our partners to understand the pre-earthquake electromagnetic phenomenon with the goal to enable a forecasting system – and to save lives.

Press Release: QuakeFinder and Altiscale Announce Strategic Partnership for Earthquake Forecasting Research

Palo Alto, Calif. – July 26, 2016 – QuakeFinder, a humanitarian research and development effort to forecast earthquakes, and Altiscale, the leading provider of Big-Data-as-a-Service, today announced a strategic partnership to analyze QuakeFinder’s large scientific data set to uncover correlations between earth-emitting electromagnetic signals and earthquakes. The goal of this project is to enable an earthquake forecasting system that provides days to weeks of advance notice of major earthquakes, ultimately saving lives.

QuakeFinder is among a growing group of international scientists and researchers seeking to understand the earth’s electromagnetic activity in the weeks prior to major earthquakes. Since 2005, QuakeFinder has developed and deployed a network of 165 sensors along fault lines in California, Chilé, Peru, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Greece. Based on the theory that rock near its fracture point releases electrical energy, QuakeFinder’s remote stations employ highly sensitive magnetometers to collect Ultra Low Frequency (ULF) magnetic disturbances resulting from electrical pulses near the future earthquake hypocenter. QuakeFinder has amassed approximately 70 terabytes (TB) of data, including detailed data from over 140 earthquakes. QuakeFinder is a “moon-shot” initiative sponsored by Stellar Solutions, Inc., a leading provider of aerospace-related engineering services to the commercial and government sectors.

“QuakeFinder is entering an exciting new stage in the quest to provide the scientific foundation for early warnings of major earthquakes. Now that sensor systems have been deployed in major earthquake zones, QuakeFinder is turning its attention from earthquake data collection to large-scale statistical analyses and algorithm development,” said Celeste Ford, CEO of Stellar Solutions. “The massive volume of sensor data and the complex signal processing techniques involved in determining relevant electromagnetic patterns make a Big Data computing solution an absolute necessity. Altiscale was a natural partner for us, since they not only offer a high- performance cloud Hadoop environment, but they also include full ongoing operational services. This allows us to focus on developing quake detection algorithms without getting bogged down in the concerns of Big Data infrastructure or operations.”

“The advent of mass sensor technology and Big Data analytics have the ability to dramatically improve manufacturing, healthcare, logistics, and more, in what is broadly known as the internet of things,” said Raymie Stata, CEO, Altiscale. “QuakeFinder is using these technologies to achieve the humanitarian goal of advance notification for major earthquakes. We are honored to be able to assist them in their mission, and Altiscale hopes to greatly accelerate QuakeFinder’s research efforts.”

Enterprises are increasingly turning to the Apache Hadoop ecosystem to handle their data challenges with efficiency, affordability, and speed. However, Hadoop environments can be difficult to set up and operate successfully over time, especially as implementations scale. According to a leading industry analyst firm, seven of 10 Hadoop implementations will fail to meet their business objectives due to challenges like these. Altiscale eliminates these barriers by offering rapid deployment, a high-performance environment, and ongoing operational support to ensure performance over time.


About Altiscale

Altiscale, a provider of Big Data as a Service, helps businesses to maximize the value of their data quickly and easily, without the challenge and expense of managing complex technologies on their own. Altiscale offers “concierge cloud” services, with full Big Data operations services included for every customer. The combination of a secure, scalable big data platform, dedicated operations services, and a passion for results means that Altiscale customers experience performance that is up to 10x faster than alternatives. Altiscale customers include leading companies across financial services, media, marketing services, AdTech, and gaming.

For more information about Altiscale’s Hadoop as a Service, Spark as a Service, or Big Data Analytics offerings, please visit www.altiscale.com or follow us on Twitter @Altiscale.


About QuakeFinder

QuakeFinder is a Palo Alto-based humanitarian research and development effort dedicated to saving lives by forecasting earthquakes.  Comprised of engineers, data scientists and computer scientists, the team is pursuing a non-traditional technique to provide days-to- weeks of advanced warning for major earthquakes. QuakeFinder is sponsored by Stellar Solutions, Inc., an engineering services company providing end-to-end technical expertise and problem-solving skills to significant national and international aerospace programs, including defense-related intelligence projects, international telecommunications satellites, commercial imagery satellites and NASA’s planetary and earth science missions. Please visit www.quakefinder.com for more information or follow us on Twitter @quakefinder.

Welcome Dr. Karl Kappler!

The QuakeFinder team is happy to announce that we are being joined in our Palo Alto office by Dr. Karl Kappler. We are extremely pleased to have Karl onboard as our ‘Chief Scientist’ in charge of algorithm development. In Karl’s role, he will collaborate with the team in designing, implementing and testing algorithms to investigate QuakeFinder’s >70 TB of field-collected electromagnetic sensor data. QuakeFinder’s mission is to save lives by forecasting earthquakes. Having now captured many dozens of earthquakes by our sensor network, the team is turning our full attention to establishing a robust analytical and data management framework and the rapid evaluation of candidate signal processing techniques – all with the goal of uncovering the correlations of pre-seismic electromagnetic (EM) signals to earthquakes. Karl hit the ground running based on his previous support to QuakeFinder as a technical consultant and long–time scientific advocate of our mission. He comes to us with a very impressive professional and educational background in geophysical sciences, mathematics, programming, statistics, and general earthquake domain knowledge. Karl received both his Masters of Science and PhD in Applied Geophysics from University of California, Berkeley. Lest one think he is an ivory-tower scientist, Karl’s field work has dirtied his hands in over 15 countries performing all aspects of geophysical surveys including magnetotellurics and bore hole R&D. He has an extensive work history in the private sector developing software and hardware products and techniques for the geoscience, oil&gas, and sensor industries. In between Karl’s field work, private sector endeavors and education, he has authored or co-authored 12 journal papers and 9 conference papers in the field of EM and holds one patent for signal noise removal. And you’ll find he is a helluva nice guy!