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California Division of Water Resources Seismic Network

The Earthquake Engineering section of the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) operates a seismic network for monitoring DWR critical facilities. Data from some of these sites is shared with the USGS Menlo Park and is integrated with other data of the Northern California Seismic System (NCSS). The earthquake epicenters and magnitudes are reported to the Project Operations Center, USBR, Department of Transportation, Division of Safety of Dams, US Corps of Engineers, and PG&E. The magnitudes and epicenters are used to determine the geographical area of the State Water Project requiring inspections after an earthquake. Facilities such as dams, pumping and power plants, switchyards, oil and gas pipelines, pipeline crossings, canal and pipeline, tunnels, intake structures, check structures, and office and maintenance buildings all are inspected based on this data. The uses of the strong motion data are for structural response studies following an earthquake, seismic stability evaluation of Sacramento Delta levees, and dynamic structural analysis of structures on DWR facilities.

The DWR owns and operates 23 seismographic sites throughout California with a total of 82 channels. The real-time data from these sites is transmitted to Sacramento via fiber optic, leased telephone lines, microwave, and radio. The network is actively upgrading short-period, vertical, analog instrumentation. Over half of the sites now consist of digital dataloggers with tri-axial accelerometers.

Network Code:WR (also includes the Southern Hayward Fault Network)

Click on each topic below to expand to more information.

Typical Station Equipment

DWR stations fall into 2 categories: short-period, and strong-motion. Each station type has its own equipment.

Short-period DWR stations
  • Vertical-component velocity sensor (Ranger SS-1, Baby and Large Benioff, and Teledyne SD212)
  • Central site digitization and timing if analog
  • Continuous telemetry to the Sacramento
Strong-motion DWR sensors
  • 3-component accelerometer (Kinemetrics EpiSensor or FBA-23)
  • Kinemetrics Makalu and Etna
  • Continuous telemetry
  • Backup power supply


Typical Recorded Channels

Sensor SEED Channels Rate (samples/sec) Sampling Mode FIR Filter
Accelerometer HNZ, HNN, HNE 200 Continuous Acausal
Short-period seismometers EHZ, EHN, EHE 100.0 Continuous Acausal


Station and Channel Information

Data Access

Several tools provide access to SEED format data at the NCEDC, both in terms of querying the archives and allowing data requests.

Help on using these tools is available.