January 17, 2005
UCSC-hosted public lecture Jan. 26 on earthquakes
to include discussion on recent tsunami
By Tim Stephens
A public lecture this month in Santa Cruz on large earthquakes
will provide a scientific perspective on the recent earthquake
and tsunami in South Asia.
Susan Hough, a U.S. Geological Survey seismologist, will speak
on "The Very Long Reach of Very Large Earthquakes"
on Wednesday, January 26, at 7 p.m. at the University Inn and
Conference Center, 611 Ocean St., in Santa Cruz. Preceding her
talk, from 6:30 to 7 p.m., UCSC scientists will answer questions
from the audience about recent events in South Asia. Admission
is free, and doors will open at 6 p.m.
The magnitude 9.0 Sumatra earthquake on December 26, 2004,
showed the tremendous "reach" of very large earthquakes.
In addition to the devastating tsunami, this earthquake generated
enormously powerful waves within the Earth. Recently, scientists
have learned that waves from large earthquakes may disturb faults
in distant regions and cause "triggered earthquakes."
Might the Sumatra earthquake generate similar triggered events
around the globe? Hough will discuss this possibility and other
implications of her research.
Hough's talk, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Imaging
and Dynamics of the Earth (CSIDE) at UCSC, is part of the Distinguished
Lecture Series of the Incorporated Research Institutions for
Seismology and the Seismological Society of America.
A USGS seismologist since 1992, Hough is editor-in-chief of
Seismological Research Letters. Her research interests
include the nature of ground shaking produced by large earthquakes,
historic earthquakes (the 1811-12 New Madrid earthquakes in
particular), earthquakes and earthquake hazard in India, and
remotely triggered earthquakes.
Hough has published two books on earthquake science for the
nonspecialist audience: Earthshaking Science: What We Know
(and Don't Know) about Earthquakes, and Finding Fault
in California: An Earthquake Tourist's Guide. A third book,
Elastic Rebound: Past and Future Earthquakes on an Urban
Planet (by Susan Hough and Roger Bilham), is scheduled for
publication this year. Hough has also published several feature
articles in magazines such as Natural History and American
CSIDE, which is hosting Hough's lecture, is part of the Institute
of Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP) at UCSC. CSIDE integrates
UCSC expertise on dynamical processes within the Earth and imaging
of the manifestations of those processes. Research is directed
at quantifying the complex structures and interactions of Earth
systems, ranging from Earth's core to the surface environment.
CSIDE director Susan Schwartz, a professor of Earth sciences
and director of the Keck Seismology Laboratory at UCSC, will
join other UCSC experts on earthquakes and tsunamis to answer
questions before Hough's talk. Thorne Lay, IGPP director and
professor of Earth sciences at UCSC, and research geophysicist
Steven Ward are expected to join Schwartz.
For more information about this public lecture, contact Jennifer
Fish at (831) 459-1235.
Return to Front Page