Highlights of 2006-2007

This year's Lawson Lecture introduced the Parkfield segment of the San Andreas Fault to the wider community. Andy Michaels of the United States Geological Survey in Menlo Park spoke about "Parkfield 2004: Lessons from the Best-Recorded Earthquake in History". This section of the fault, currently the target of the "San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth" drilling project, has been the object of intense research since the Parkfield Earthquake Prediction Experiment began in the mid-1980s. Then, the goal was to acquire high-quality measurements close to, and in advance of, a large earthquake. This goal was finally met when the September 28, 2004, magnitude 6, Parkfield, California, earthquake finally occurred on the San Andreas fault in the middle of the dense and diverse network of instruments designed by the scientists for the Parkfield Earthquake Prediction Experiment. The resulting data reveal aspects of the earthquake process never before seen, providing important insights into earthquake processes, prediction, and the hazards assessments that underlie important policies such as building codes.

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