2017 Lawson Lecture

The Future of Past Earthquakes: Insights into Earth Behavior from Earthquake Geology and Paleoseismology

Dr. David P. Schwartz, USGS

Wednesday, April 26, 2017
4:30 pm

UC Berkeley
Chevron Auditorium at International House
2299 Piedmont Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94720

The field of earthquake geology, which includes paleoseismology, provides approaches for quantifying the longer term behavior of active structures and active regions in time and space. Since the mid-1960s, when trenching was first used for simple fault location primarily in California, investigations of the rupture behavior of seismogenic structures have spread globally to all tectonic settings including subduction zones. Using improved and new techniques for dating geologic deposits and geomorphic surfaces, incorporating high resolution ground-based and satellite imagery for measuring coseismic surface and longer-term displacements, and investigating sites with long records of earthquake occurrence and event slip, earthquake geologic studies have expanded our four dimensional understanding of active earthquake systems and provided fundamental data for seismic hazard analysis. The Lawson Lecture will discuss these concepts with worldwide examples and special emphasis on the past and future behavior of faults in the San Francisco Bay Region.



About the Lawson Lecture Series

Since 2003, the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory has been hosting a public lecture series in honor of Professor Andrew Lawson on earthquakes and earthquake science. Held every year in April, the lecture series highlights a broad range of earthquake issues of interest to the Berkeley community.

The lecture series is named for Professor Andrew Lawson, who was appointed to the Department of Geology at UC Berkeley in 1890. In 1906, as Chairman of the State Earthquake Investigation Commission, he organized an extensive field program, to which many geologists contributed their services, and prepared the one of the most complete and informative reports ever published on a great earthquake.



Previous Lawson Lectures:

  • 4/16/2016
    • "Earthquakes: Predicting the Inevitable"
    • Stefan Wiemer, Swiss Seismological Service; Emily Brodsky, UC Santa Cruz; Richard Allen, BSL
    • Watch the Lecture
  • 4/29/2015
    • "Induced Earthquakes in the 21st Century"
    • Dr. Greg Beroza, Stanford University
    • Watch the Lecture
  • 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
    • Watch the Lecture
  • 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