An Ad-Hoc committee of the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources of the National Academy of Sciences recently completed a report on the value of seismic monitoring. The Ad-hoc committee was charged to:
Although it is difficult to quantify many of these issues, the panel found: Full deployment of the ANSS offers the potential to substantiall reduce earthquake losses and their consequences by providing critical information for land-use planning, building design, insurance, warnings, and emergency preparedness and response. In the committee's judgement, the potential benefits far exceed the costs -- annualized buildings and buliding-related earthquake losses alone are estimated to be about $5.6 billion, whereas the annualized cost of improved seismic monitoring is about $96 million, less than 2 percent of the estimated losses.
Improved Seismic Monitoring - Improved Decision Making: Assessing the Value of Reduced Uncertainty is currently available as a pre-publication draft: