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 The Strong Motion Program

Earthquake Engineering operates and maintains the State Water Project Strong Motion Program to provide strong motion accelerograms at Project facilities after a moderate to large earthquake. The program is a cooperative effort between the USGS and the USBR. Instruments include both analog and digital. At present, all strong motion sites except the Newville site and the Oroville receiver site are digitally instrumented and linked to Earthquake Engineering in Sacramento by fiber optic cable, broad spectrum radio, telephone, or a combination of these. See the Instrumentation section for a complete list of the instruments, locations, and types in each field division.

The uses of the strong motion data are for structural information. The Division of Engineering (formerly the division of Design and Construction) funded the finite element analysis of Oroville Dam after the 1975 Oroville earthquake using data recorded during the earthquake. DOE will use any data collected by the Delta Array for the Seismic Stability Evaluation of Delta Levees. The Division of O&M funded the Dynamic Structural Analysis of the San Luis Dam bridge for the Maximum Crdeible Earthquake using the accelrograms recorded on the Intake Structure during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

The data is used by Department engineers in the Design sections, geologists in the Project Geology section, engineers and geologists in the Division of Safety of Dams, and O&M engineers in their performance reports. FERC requires seismic data be available after an earthquake. Consulting boards convened for annual five year inspections request strong motion data for their reports. Bulletin 203-77 and 203-78 use the strong motion data.


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