COOS BAY — Southwestern’s geology lecture series continues when Dr. Sarah Minson gives the 15th annual Cascadia Anniversary Lecture at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24.
Dr. Minson will present a lecture on “Imminent Shaking: What Kind of Earthquake Prediction is Possible?” Dr. Minson comes to Coos Bay as a distinguished lecturer sponsored by the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology and Seismological Society of America’s Distinguished Lectures Series.
For nearly two decades, the IRIS/SSA lecture series has enabled world-renowned scientists to travel and speak to public audiences about cutting-edge earthquake and seismologic research. This talk is scheduled to take place near the anniversary of the last great Cascadia Earthquake which struck the Pacific Northwest around 9 p.m. on January 26, 1700, allowing us an opportunity to reflect and prepare for future Cascadia events.
Dr. Sarah Minson will also be giving a talk at noon on Friday, Jan. 24, also in the Hales Ce…
Dr. Minson is a research geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey's Earthquake Science Center. Her research interests include determining the physics of earthquake ruptures, and estimating the slip distribution and predicting the ground motion from earthquakes in real-time for earthquake early warning. She received her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the California Institute of Technology. Prior to her current position, she was a Mendenhall post-doctoral fellow with the US Geological Survey as well as a post-doctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology. She is a winner of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) and a Kavli Fellow (National Academy of Sciences and The Kavli Foundation).
The United States is developing "ShakeAlert," an earthquake early warning system that will provide California, Oregon and Washington with advanced warning of potentially damaging shaking. The hopes for early warning systems are high, but the reality of what can be expected from earthquake early warning is nuanced.
Earthquakes don’t happen in an instant and don’t tell us how big they will become. This means that any forecasts that we make will be imperfect, and the amount of warning will be short; in many cases, only a few seconds of warning will be possible. In spite of these limitations, there could still be significant value to earthquake early warning, especially for people who are willing to adopt a “better safe than sorry” strategy of taking protective action for earthquakes that have only a small chance of causing damage.
What kind of warning system would you prefer? One that issues alerts for weak shaking, but also sends alerts for many events that do not go on to produce strong shaking? Or an earthquake early warning system that issues alerts only once ground shaking is expected to be damaging, but there is an increased chance that the alerts could be issued too late? During this talk, you will discover how an earthquake early warning system works, how warnings are issued and how much warning is possible.
Geology Lecture Series talks are free and are held in the Hales Center for the Performing Arts on Southwestern’s Coos Campus, 1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay. For those not able to attend in person, all lectures are Livestreamed and archived, with access from the College's web site at https://livestream.com/SWOCC/geology2019-20.
Additional talks in the series for this academic year include: Dr. Eric Steig (University of Washington) with “The Future of Ice: What We Do (and Don’t) Know About Climate Change in the Polar Regions on March 13; Dr. Sean Davis (NOAA) on "Lessons at the School of Hard Knocks: From the Ozone Hole to Global Climate Change” on April 24; and Dr. Ginny Edgcomb (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute) an Ocean Drilling Program distinguished lecturer with “Life at the Edge of What is Possible: Microbial Biosignatures in the Lower Oceanic Crust” on May 16. Lecture series sponsors include DB Western, The Mill Casino-Hotel, IRIS/SSA, Ocean Discovery Lecture Series, the Southwestern Foundation and Southwestern Community College.
For additional information, contact Ron Metzger at 541-888-7216.