Testing seismometers.

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.

Seismic Dry Spell Finally Broken

It was a very long hiatus, almost too long. The Hayward Fault, one of the most active faults in the San Francisco Bay Area, has lately been eerily quiet along its northern section. Almost four years have passed, since the last slight seismic shaking was felt anywhere along the fault north of the Caldecott Tunnel. Some of us seismologists working on the campus of UC Berkeley were beginning to become suspicious..

Earthquakes and the Rainfall Cycle

The blogger has had this experience several times while studying the remote San Andreas Fault in Central California east of Paso Robles. In this region the ranches measure tens of thousands of acres in size. During the incredibly hot dog days of summer, we have encountered grumpy old ranch hands who were ready to throw us off their land...

Scence from San Andreas movie with a gaping chasm caused by an earthquake

The Mystery about Earthquake Fissures

It is one of the great myths surrounding earthquakes: During a strong temblor a gaping chasm opens up and swallows everything from humans, to animals and even houses. Sometimes these crevices are said to be many miles long. We in Northern California are partly to blame for this myth, because our seismic lore...

Michael Manga

Michael Manga Receives 2017 Distinguished Teaching Award

'My teaching and research are inseparable. I could not imagine doing one without the other. Teaching ensures that I deeply understand both core concepts and technical details – the foundations of research. To teach, in the classroom, laboratory, and field, I need to know current research priorities and key questions and keep up with new discoveries. This is especially true for introductory classes.'

Car flattened by 1992 quake

Today in Earthquake History: Cape Mendocino 1992

Petrolia is - by any measure - the tiniest of hamlets in California. Hidden deep in the woods of the Mattole River valley in Humboldt County only one extremely windy road in rather poor condition connects it to the rest of the world. On this road you can either drive 33 miles north through the very remote country of the Lost Coast until you reach the touristy town of Ferndale...