This what I wrote to the YVO,
"Dear Dr. Peter Cervelli,
I'm sure you're aware of this page.
Prior to the swarm of 2008/09, quakes were immediately posted to the list. After the swarm, there was a policy change, yet there was no notification
or explaination and the policy still says quakes update every 5 min or once an hour. Also before that year's swarm, the quakes were updated on
weekends. That is not the case anymore.
I don't feel this is open information sharing.
Could you explain why the UofU and the YVO changed the policy.
Last week quakes weren't updated until late Monday afternoon. And after the updates stopped on Friday, they have no yet resumed."
This is the response I got from the YVO.
"My understanding is that earthquakes are added to that list based on
the following two criteria:
(1) the earthquake has been automatically identified and its
calculated magnitude is greater than 2.5
(2) the earthquake location has been determined and/or reviewed by a
I believe the system is intended to add earthquakes to this list in
real time provided that one of the two criteria above is met.
I have not been watching the list carefully, so I can't say how often
it's being updated.
If you have been reading the UU press releases or YVO's information
statements, I'm sure you've noticed that there have been 1000+ quakes
located so far. I presume that as these quakes are reviewed by human
seismologists they will be added to the list. I don't know how long
it will take to go through the backlog of unreviewed events, but I'm
guessing it will be days to weeks, especially since new quakes keep
coming in as the swarm continues.
I assume it would be your preference that the automatic earthquake
locations be posted to this list (or perhaps another list). Many
people share your opinion. I believe the reason the seismologists
don't like this idea is that they are concerned about quality control.
On occasion, automatic locations can be badly wrong and taking them
at face value can be misleading.
After the current swarm is over, I can assure you that all the
information dissemination practices will be reviewed, and your opinion
and others like yours will be considered carefully.
He didn't answer my question. He avoided my question about why the policy change and didn't even acknowledge it had. Reviews are part of the proces
in calculating a quake. It should not be used as an excuse to delay information to the public in a timely manner. I am think about writing back and
asking my questions more specifically and I'll push a little harder for a real answer.