EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Development of an earthquake early warning and shakemaps system using low-cost sensors in Taiwan

Yih-Min Wu1,2
Yih-Min Wu
  • 1National Taiwan University, Geosciences, Taipei, Taiwan (
  • 2Academia Sinica, Institute of Earth Sciences, Taipei, Taiwan

Building an earthquake early warning (EEW) network requires the installation of seismic instruments around the seismogenic zone. Using low-cost sensors to build a seismic network for EEW and to generate shakemaps is a cost-effective way in the field of seismology. The National Taiwan University (NTU) network employing 770 P-Alert low-cost sensors based on micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) technology is operational for almost the last 10 years in Taiwan. This instrumentation is capable of recording the strong ground motions of up to ± 2g and is dense enough to record the near-field ground motion. The NTU system has shown its importance during various earthquakes that caused damage in Taiwan. Although the system is capable of acting as a regional as well as an on-site warning system, it is particularly useful for onsite warning. Using real-time seismic signals, each P-Alert device provided a 2–8 s warning time for the near-source earthquake regions situated in the blind zone of the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) regional EEW system, during the 2016 Mw6.4 Meinong and 2018 Mw6.4 Hualien earthquakes. The shakemaps plotted by the P-Alert dense network help to assess the damage pattern and act as key features in the risk mitigation process. These shakemaps are delivered to the intended users, including the disaster mitigation authorities, for possible relief purposes. Currently, the P-Alert network can provide peak ground acceleration (PGA), peak ground velocity (PGV), spectral acceleration (Sa) at different periods, and CWB intensity shakemaps. Using shakemaps it is found that PGV is a better indicator of damage detection than PGA. Encouraged by the performance of the P-Alert network, more instruments are installed in Asia-Pacific countries.

How to cite: Wu, Y.-M.: Development of an earthquake early warning and shakemaps system using low-cost sensors in Taiwan, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-2499,, 2023.