The Berkeley Seismological Laboratory conducts essential research on earthquakes and solid earth processes while collecting and delivering high quality geophysical data.

We provide robust and real-time earthquake and hazard information on Northern California earthquakes, in collaboration with our partners.

We enable the broad consumption of earthquake information by the general public while educating and training students at all levels.

Schrenshot of ShakeAlert

It Worked ... and It Did Not!

The magnitude 7.1 quake under the Mojave Desert on Independence Day weekend was the first test of the West Coast wide earthquake early warning system in a really strong shaker – and this system dubbed Shake-Alert performed very well...

Photo showing line of damaged asphalt on darkened highway.

Not All is Quiet at the Eastern Front

California is full of famous earthquake faults. Almost everybody in the state has heard of the San Andreas Fault. Northern Californians fear the possible rupture of the Hayward Fault, Angelinos are aware of the Newport-Inglewood Fault and in the far northern reaches of California the major fault line lies offshore marking the subduction zone of the Juan de Fuca and Gorda Plates under North America. To be exact, there are a total of 15,700 known faults in our state. But the strong quakes which rocked the northwestern Mojave Desert around the town of Ridgecrest in the few days following July 4th, 2019, happened on a fault zone almost nobody has ever heard of...

HayWired Logo

HayWired Earthquake Scenario Wins Award

The HayWired Earthquake Scenario was just recognized with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission's Bay Area Metro Award. We are proud of BSL scientists' contribution toward this effort!

Recording from mars - quake or tremor?

Rumbles on the Red Planet

Mars, the Red Planet, is alive. No, we are not talking about a sudden success in the elusive search for "Life on Mars". We are talking about the living interior of our immediate neighbor in the solar system...

Scientific figure showing brightly colored PSD plots for 8 labeled seismic stations.

BSL researchers track Earth's hum after Pacific storms

Former BSL postdoc Dr. Satish Maurya as well as BSL's Prof. Barbara Romanowicz and Dr. Taka'aki Taira used Berkeley Digital Seismic Network sites, including ocean-bottom station MOBB, to track the earth's hum after Pacific storms. Read more at EOS...

Black and white line drawing of people amidst rubble

Today in Earthquake History: Owens Valley 1872

Earthquakes in California, so it seems, occur mostly in the coastal regions of the Golden State... So it may come as a surprise, that on this day in 1872 California was shaken very hard by a strong quake with an epicenter along the eastern flank of the Sierra Nevada...

Multicolored scientific figure

How Earthquakes Break the Speed Limit

One of the reasons earthquakes are so dangerous is that they are fast, really fast. Consider seismic waves: Even the slowest common wave type, the Rayleigh waves, circles the globe with speeds of more than 7,000 miles per hour...

The geodetic signature of slow slip events in the roots of the San Andreas Fault Parkfield segment

In a recent study, BSL researchers Baptiste Rousset and Roland Bü&rgmann and a colleague from the Université Grenoble Alpes in France jointly analyzed GPS time series and tremor catalogs around Parkfield, CA to search for slow slip event signals at the base of the seismogenic zone...

Photo of Dr. Romanowicz

Barbara Romanowicz Awarded Emil Wiechert Medal

Professor Barbara Romanowicz is being recognized with the Emil Wiechert Medal from the German Geophysical Society (Deutsche Geophysikalische Gesellschaft, or DGG) for outstanding contributions to the field of geophysics.

Screenshot showing recording of ocean microseism waveforms.

Seismo Blog: How Storms Shake The Ground

The system of winter storms which is currently pummeling much of the West Coast of the United States is not merely a weather nuisance. Aside from causing extensive flooding, land- and mudslides, and hampering the traffic flow on highways, these storms are also of concern to us seismologists...

Photo of Dr. Taira and JSPS representatives

Taka'aki Taira Wins JSPS Bridge Award

The 2018 Bridge Award, from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), recognizes researchers from Japan working at US institutions who are actively promoting internationalization within the broader research community and also mentoring the next generation of Japanese researchers.