The Geology of Bear Territory
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Hearst Mining Building

Hearst Mining Building, another gift of the Hearst Family, is currently undergoing an extensive and painstaking seismic retrofit, which you can watch in real-time. A base-isolation system, developed here at Cal, Hearst Mining Building retrofitis being installed to act as a kind of shock-absorber for the building during strong ground shaking. The building has an important place in campus history and architecture, so special care is being taken to preserve the original details, from the façade to the individual ceiling tiles.

Hearst Mining Building retrofit To the east of the building, difficult to see while the construction is taking place, is the entrance to the Lawson adit, which extends eastward into the hills. Named for Professor A.C. Lawson, the tunnel was used by mining students for hands-on practice from 1919 through the 1930s. It was lengthened in 1939 by Professor George Louderback to investigate the fault zone when the University was considering possible sites for a dormitory. The adit was valuable in determining the precise locations of the multiple traces of the fault in the area, and led Louderback to suggest that the University shift the site of what is now Stern Hall 50 feet to the east in order to clear the fault. Parts of the tunnel, especially those near the fault zone, collapsed, and the entire adit has since been closed for safety reasons.