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Lawson Lecture Series

Correction: When this webpage was first posted, it erroneously listed the Lawson Lecture date as April 16th, The actual date of the lecture is Wednesday, April 29th.

2015 Lawson Lecture:

Induced Earthquakes in the 21st Century

Speaker: Dr. Greg Beroza, Stanford University

Date and Time: Wednesday April 29th, 5:30-6:30 PM

Location: Sutardja Dai Hall (CITRIS), Banatao Auditorium, UC Berkeley

Refreshments will be served in the Atrium following the lecture.
For directions and parking information, see map at right.

Earthquakes triggered by human activities have been documented for over half a century, but the past decade has seen a resurgence of induced earthquakes associated with energy resources. In 2006, a M3.4 earthquake occurred during geothermal energy development in Basel, Switzerland, causing the project to be abandoned. In 2009, concerns about triggered earthquakes in the Geysers, California contributed to the early termination of an experimental exploitation effort. New technologies (e.g., fracking) allow hydrocarbons to be recovered from shale formations; however, injection of water produced from the shale has the potential to trigger earthquakes. Plans to reduce greenhouse gas in the atmosphere by deep CO2 injection would require such massive injection volumes that it may set off earthquakes. In all of these ways, induced seismicity is a problem that impacts future energy options, so it is important to understand it. The phenomenon of induced earthquakes also raises interesting questions. How can we tell induced earthquakes from naturally occurring, tectonic earthquakes? How can we predict where they are likely to occur? How can we mitigate the risk associated with induced earthquakes? How should induced earthquakes be treated in existing policy - from quantifying seismic hazard to mitigating the consequences of earthquakes? In this talk I will review recent instances of induced seismicity, and summarize the state of the science seeking to answer these questions.

All UCB lots have hourly public parking after 5:00 PM on weekdays. Lots shown on the map also have public parking before 5:00 PM. There is also hourly parking on Hearst and Euclid.

Banatao Auditorium is room 310 of Sutardja Dai Hall (CITRIS Building). It is on the main (3rd) floor. Coming from the Upper Hearst parking garage, access is at ground level after descending a flight of outdoor steps. Coming from Lower Hearst parking garage (entrance to SD hall next to Qualcomm Cyber Cafe), access is up one level by stair or elevator.

Previous Lawson lectures:

Date Title Speaker Links
4/16/2014 "A California view of the 1964 Alaska earthquake: Lessons learned, forgotten, and relearned about reducing tsunami vulnerability" Dr. Lori Dengler, Humboldt State University
4/08/2013 "Warning California: Science and Technology to Reduce the Growing Earthquake Threat" Dr. Richard Allen, BSL
4/25/2012 "Earthquakes from the Top to the Bottom of the Magnitude Scale: Insights into Earthquake Physics from EarthScope" Dr. William Ellsworth, USGS
5/04/2011 "Two Earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand: Lessons for California " Dr. Mary Comerio, UC Berkeley
4/28/2010 "The Haiti Earthquake of 12 January 2010: A Geologic Perspective" Dr. Carol Prentice, USGS
4/14/2009 "Building Resilient Communities: Fresh Challenges for Earthquake Professionals" Chris Poland, Degenkolb Engineers
4/09/2008 "A tectonic time bomb in our backyard: Earthquake potential of the Hayward fault" Dr. Roland Burgmann, UC Berkeley
4/24/2007 "The Parkfield 2004 Earthquake: Lessons From the Best-Recorded Quake in History" Dr. Andy Michael, USGS Menlo Park
4/15/2006 Designing For Disaster: The UC Berkeley Seismic Retrofit Program Dr. Mary Comerio, UC Berkeley
4/18/2005 The 2004 Giant Earthquake and Tsunami: Observations and Lessons Learned Dr. Barbara Romanowicz, UC Berkeley
4/21/2004 Earthquake Conversations Dr. Ross Stein, USGS
4/22/2003 New Earthquake Probabilities for the San Francisco Bay Area: What you should know Dr. David Schwartz, USGS