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2005 - 2006 Public Lecture Series
at Caltech in Beckman Institute Auditorium

Please join our fifth year of the Public Lecture Series!

January 19 - 8pm - 2006 - Baxter Lecture Hall
The San Jacinto Fault: Little Brother of the San Andreas?
- Katherine Kendrick, USGS Pasadena

In southern California, the San Andreas fault splits into two different faults, the San Andreas and the San Jacinto faults. Both have produced large earthquakes in the past. The San Andreas is older, but just like a little brother, the San Jacinto is becoming more active and trying to outdo the San Andreas. In this presentation we will explore the risks associated with these two faults and examine the evidence for the relative activity of each fault. How do geologists study ancient earthquakes and find out how quickly faults moved in the past? We will look at the underground views of faults, and how we read the history that is preserved there.

Please note change of venue for this lecture only - Baxter Lecture Hall

September 29 - 8pm - 2005
The 1906 Earthquake: Lessons Learned and Lessons Forgotten
- Mary Lou Zoback, USGS Menlo Park

The 1906 Mw7.8 earthquake on the northern San Andreas Fault marked the birth of modern earthquake science.  For the first time, the effects and impacts of a major seismic event were systematically investigated and documented in a detailed report. Scientists not only carefully mapped the entire 200-mile-long fault rupture, but they also mapped the fault south to the Mexican border, showing the San Andreas as a major geologic structure for the first time. They showed that the strongest shaking occurred in areas of “made land” (fill) and soft sediment including China Basin and the present day Marina district—two San Francisco neighborhoods heavily damaged again in 1989 during the Loma Prieta earthquake.  Their surveys of damage to structures concluded that destruction was closely related to building design and construction--a painful lesson oft repeated around the world.  Perhaps the most important scientific result to come out of the 1906 earthquake was the concept of an earthquake cycle. As earthquake science evolves, reanalysis of the 1906 earthquake data continues to yield new insights about that event and the behavior of large strike-slip faults in general. Looking to the future, a dense array of continuous GPS recorders in N. California, part of EarthScope’s Plate Boundary Observatory, can search for fault interactions and determine if an acceleration of strain rate precedes the next big earthquake as it may have prior to 1906.  Come and find out how we are still learning from “the big one” that happened 100 years ago!

Download lecture flyer (2.4MB PDF)

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