When the Earth Quakes

AUGUST 25, 2000

Dr. Randall Marrett

Department of Geology
The University of Texas at Austin

What is the talk about?

Earthquakes are at once fascinating and terrifying.The experience most people have of earthquakes is limited to what happens at the surface of the Earth where we live, however most of the action takes place at depth within the Earth. Geologists have come to an understanding of how earthquakes work through a combination of direct observations at the surface, indirect observations of the Earth’s interior, and rock experiments. This lecture will combine these approaches to provide an overview of what we know about earthquakes and what we still have to learn. What makes earthquakes happen? How are earthquakes measured? Where do earthquakes occur? Are we at risk in Austin? How do earthquakes damage our property and injure people? Can earthquakes be predicted? Answers to these questions will be illustrated with numerous real examples, some of which are right here in Austin.

About our presenter

Dr. Randall Marrett

Dr. Randall Marrett

Randall Marrett has degrees in Geology from the University of California at Santa Cruz (B.S.) and Cornell University (Ph.D.). He joined the faculty at UT in 1994 after working for several years in industry, and teaches a variety of classes in Structural Geology, Field Geology and Physical Geology. In 1999 he received the Knebel Distinguished Teaching Award and in 1998 he was awarded a Big XII Faculty Fellowship for research. He has published numerous scientific articles and won a variety of research grants. His research on active deformation and mountain building is largely based on field work in the Andes of Argentina and Chile, the Sierra Madre of Mexico, and the Rocky Mountains of the U.S. and Canada.