Lawson Lecture Series
2013 Lawson Lecture
Warning California: Science and Technology to Reduce the Growing Earthquake Threat
What is earthquake early warning and how could it impact people in California? Researchers at the BSL, Caltech, the USGS, and their partners, are testing an earthquake early warning system for the state of California. This talk presents an overview of the algorithms, challenges, and collaborative science involved in rolling out a public system.
There is a growing threat from earthquakes in California and around the world. As our societies and infrastructures become more interconnected the potential long-term impacts of earthquakes also become more unpredictable. In this talk Prof. Richard Allen will outline some of the ways that the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory is developing the science and technology necessary to reduce future impacts through the delivery of earthquake and tsunami alerts. These alerts are available seconds to minutes before damaging ground shaking and allow individuals to take cover, automated systems such as trains and manufacturing processes to shut down, and an overall reduction of the recovery time following a big quake. A demonstration system is now running in California and the first users are developing their automated response. At the same time, new technologies are providing opportunities to improve warnings and deliver warnings in more locations around the world. These include high accuracy real-time GPS which can now track the rupture of faults, and harnessing the accelerometers in smartphones to detect earthquakes and transmit the warning ahead of the shaking.
About Richard Allen:
Richard Allen is the Director of the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory and a Professor in the Dept. of Earth and Planetary Science at UC Berkeley. He received a BA in Earth Science from Cambridge University in 1994, his PhD in seismology from Princeton University in 2001, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Caltech, before taking up his first faculty position at the University of Wisconsin in 2002. He moved to UC Berkeley in 2005 where his research group focuses on two topics. His Earth imaging group use 3D imaging of the Earth’s internal structure to understand the upwelling and downwelling of plumes and plates, and the surface deformation responsible for earthquakes. His real-time earthquake information group focuses on rapid determination of earthquake source parameters and is developing a methodology to deliver warnings prior to earthquake shaking that is currently being tested in California.
Previous Lawson lectures:
|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|