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International Collaboration [USGS]
To achieve earthquake loss reduction internationally is important to the United States for several reasons. Collaboration on research leverages scarce funds and allows access to a wider array of research results including those derived from earthquakes which occur outside of our nation. Stimulation of increased earthquake mitigation internationally will help reduce loss of life and property and can help conserve funds dedicated to international disaster assistance. NEHRP has helped to make the United States a leader in earthquake assessment and mitigation technologies. Increased attention to these activities by foreign countries provides U.S. companies with enhanced market opportunities.
The NEP gains substantially from international collaboration on earthquake effects, mitigation practices, and implementation strategies. It also gains from professional and commercial associations throughout the world which develop, publicize, and implement earthquake risk reduction practices. NEHRP and most participating non-NEHRP agencies participate in bi- or multi-lateral science and technology programs. Examples of such collaboration are the U.S.-Japan Cooperative Program in Natural Resources (UJNR) Panel on Winds and Seismic Effects, the U.S.-People's Republic of China program on seismic hazards and earthquake studies, the U.S.-Russia program on earthquake disaster reduction, the U.S.-Japan Science and Technology Working Group and its subcommittee on Satellite Applications, and the U.S. participation in the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR). The UJNR Panel on Wind and Seismic Effects, which began 27 years ago, allows researchers and practitioners of both countries to exchange specific technical data and personnel, and to collaborate on experimental work including large-scale testing. Nineteen U.S. federal agencies, including the NEHRP agencies, and seven Japanese government agencies participate in the panel activities.
In the area of research on crustal strain and earthquake processes, the Global Digital Seismograph Network (IRIS, NSF, and USGS) collects data from, and distributes information to, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. NSF is a major supporter of the International Seismic Centre, the world's main collector and publisher of earthquake data. The United States cooperates with countries throughout the world to improve global seismic monitoring and to understand earthquake hazards in seismically active regions of Latin America, Asia, and Southern Europe. Scientific protocols have been renewed with several members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (former Soviet Union) and the People's Republic of China to maintain a vigorous exchange of seismic monitoring data. The Global Geodetic Network (NASA, NOAA, and NSF) uses high-resolution, space-based geodetic techniques, with permanent measurement sites on all continents, to monitor global crustal motion and deformation, exchanging data and coordinating observations through agreements with some 45 countries.
Transferring technology and providing training and expertise to earthquake-prone developing countries so that they can implement hazard mitigation practices is much cheaper than providing disaster relief after a devastating earthquake. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization and the U.S. State Department, currently provides training and expertise on a reimbursable basis to improve earthquake hazard reduction in South America, Southern Europe, North Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean region, and Southeast Asia. Additionally, in cooperation with the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance of the Agency for International Development, the USGS provides technical assistance in South and Central America and Asia to develop a more uniform basis to assess earthquake risk. The program is achieving hazard reduction by developing a wide variety of information and data exchange programs.