Earthquake alarm; operating the seismograph station at the University of California, Berkeley.

Earthquake Information Bulletin (USGS)


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An alarm bell rings at the seismographic station and at the office of the campus police. It is 3:00 on a foggy San Francisco morning. Somewhere in the world an earthquake has occurred. The police telephone the duty seismologist at home telling him that the alarm has triggered. He makes his way into the seismograph station, bathrobe and all, to locate the earthquake and determine its magnitude. In this way, many seismology graduate students have been initiated into the responsibilities of running a seismographic station. 

At the University of California seismographic stations, the task of locating and determining magnitudes for both local and distant earthquakes is a continuous one. Teleseisms must be located rapidly so that events that occur in the Pacific can be identified and the Pacific Tsunami Warning System alerted. For great earthquakes anywhere, there is a responsibility to notify public agencies such as the California Office of Emergency Services, the Federal Disaster Assistance Administration, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, the California Seismic Safety Commission, and the American Red Cross. In the case of damaging local earthquakes, it is necessary to alert also the California Department of Water Resources, California Division of Mines and Geology, U.S Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Bureau of Reclamation, and the Bay Area Rapid Transit. These days, any earthquakes that are felt in northern California cause immediate inquiries from the news media and an interested public. The series of earthquakes that jolted the Livermore area from January 24 to 26 1980, is a good case in point. 

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Earthquake alarm; operating the seismograph station at the University of California, Berkeley.
Series title Earthquake Information Bulletin (USGS)
Volume 12
Issue 3
Year Published 1980
Language English
Publisher U.S Geological Survey
Description 10 p.
First page 88
Last page 97
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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