Stanford University

Data helps us prepare for 'The Big One'

Data is reshaping our knowledge about many things, including earthquakes: how we measure them, what causes them and how we can better prepare for them.

BY Stanford Engineering Staff
ClockNovember 19, 2018

Earthquakes come in species, says Greg Beroza, professor of geophysics at Stanford and an expert in seismology.

There are, of course, the well-known sudden shocks, but there are also “slow earthquakes” that transpire imperceptibly in contrast to the obvious temblors, but which can measure 7 on the Richter Scale or more — a major quake by any standard.

Beroza knows about slow and other species of earthquakes because of a recent explosion in the availability of seismic data recorded by an expansive network of sensors throughout California and elsewhere around the world. One hundred times each second, 24 hours a day, every day, each of these sensors records seismic data. What they reveal is reshaping our understanding of earthquakes. The goal, he says, is not necessarily to predict earthquakes — an ideal that may never be achieved — but simply to understand them better. Beroza says that data can help prepare us for “The Big One.” Join host Russ Altman and earthquake expert Greg Beroza for a deeper look at the evolving and expanding science of seismology.

You can listen to the Future of Everything on Sirius XM Insight Channel 121iTunesSoundCloud and Stanford Engineering Magazine.

Russ Altman is the Kenneth Fong professor and professor of bioengineering, of genetics, of medicine (general medical discipline), of biomedical data science and, by courtesy, of computer science.

Media Contacts

Tom Abate

Stanford Engineering

(650) 815-1602,

Gregory Beroza

School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences

Josie Garthwaite

School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, (650) 497-0947

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