Earthquake prediction research at the Seismological Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Earthquake Information Bulletin (USGS)


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The Seismological Laboratory at the California Institute of Techonology (Caltech) was founded in 1928 as a result of a study by the Carnegie Institue of Washington. The study was based primarily on a 1916 report by H. O. Wood which recommended that a network of seismic stations be established in southern California. In 1929, the Carnegie Advisory Committee sponsored a conference at Caltech involving world authorities in seismology (fig. 1). Shortly thereafter, Beno Gutenberg was appointed to work at the Seismological Laboratory, although it was not until 1947 that he was formally names as director. He was succeeded in 1957 by Frank Press (now the President's Science Advisor) and in 1967 by Don Anderson.

Much of the present research at the laboratory involves disciplines that did not exist 20 years ago. They included studies of the free oscillations of the Earth after a great earthquake, studies of the properties of rocks and minerals at high temperatures and pressures, construction of synthetic seismograms, and planetary seismology.

Nevertheless, basic earthquake-related information has always been of consuming interest to the public and the media in this part of California (fig. 2.). So it is not surprising that earthquake prediction continues to be a significant reserach program at the laboratory. Several of the current spectrum of projects related to prediction are discussed below. 

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Earthquake prediction research at the Seismological Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
Series title Earthquake Information Bulletin (USGS)
Volume 11
Issue 3
Year Published 1979
Language English
Publisher U.S Geological Survey
Description 7 p.
First page 95
Last page 101
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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