Public Lecture Series


A listing of our past lecture series events.

Filter Total Items: 187
February 22, 2007

PubTalk 2/2007 — Riding the Storm

Landslide Danger in the Bay Area Hills

Peter Lyttle, National Landslide Hazards Program Coordinator,
will introduce the USGS premiere of the documentary
Riding the Storm by Karen Adams. A question-and answer session
with the producer, USGS researchers, and residents
featured in Riding the Storm will follow.

January 25, 2007

PubTalk 1/2007 — The Hidden World of the Golden Gate

How tides, currents, and humans have created an array of sea-floor features

By Patrick Barnard, Marine Geologist, and Peter Dartnell, Physical Scientist

  • A century of technical advances allow scientists to identify and visualize spectacular sea-bottom features
  • Recent collaborative research outside the Golden Gate found that 100
December 14, 2006

PubTalk 12/2006 — The Mojave National Preserve

Geology and Water Shape Desert Plant Communities

by David Miller, Geologist and John Nimmo, Soil Hydrologist


  • One of the largest units in the National Park System, the Mojave National Preserve was established in 1994
  • The Preserve encompasses great sand dunes (including "singing sands"), young volcanic features,
November 16, 2006

PubTalk 11/2006 — Drills, Spills, and Chills

The inside story on USGS estimates of Alaskan oil and gas resources

by Ken Bird and Rick Stanley, Geologists


  • See the basic elements of a petroleum system.where the oil comes from and where it goes
  • USGS resource assessments in Alaska have a long history and have changed over time
  • Learn how the newest
October 26, 2006

PubTalk 10/2006 — The Parkfield 2004 Earthquake

Lessons From the Best-Recorded Quake in History

by Andy Michael, Geophysicist


  • To record high-quality measurements close to a large earthquake, the right instruments have to be in the right place at the right time
  • Such a convergence happened, for the fi rst time ever, on September 28, 2004, when a magnitude 6
September 28, 2006

PubTalk 9/2006 — Water Odysseys

Surface-water and ground-water flow in the Santa Clara Valley

by Randall T. Hanson, Research Hydrologist


  • What has deep drilling in the valley found about ground-water flow?
  • A new computer model improves our understanding of water-flow patterns
  • Learn how underground water makes the ground rise and fall
August 28, 2006

PubTalk 8/2006 — Hidden Faults Under Silicon Valley

Do new discoveries change our view of Santa Clara Valley earthquake hazards?

by R. D. Catchings, Geophysicist 

  • Seismic profiles have revealed the valley.s deep structure and previously unknown faults
  • Earthquakes and seismic reflection images suggest some reverse faults beneath the valley that are not seen at the surface
July 27, 2006

PubTalk 7/2006 — Uncovering Silicon Valley

Weaving a tale of three sedimentary basins

by Victoria E. Langenheim, Geophysicist


  • Geophysical probing reveals the geology under Santa Clara Valley
  • What does the new 3-D view tell us about the San Andreas fault system?
  • How does this affect earthquake hazards and ground-water resources?
  • Was the
June 29, 2006

PubTalk 6/2006 — Geology on Conveyor Belts

New ideas on Bay Area evolution from a decade of geologic mapping

By Russ Graymer, Geologist


  • What was the Bay Area like during the Age of Dinosaurs?
  • Learn about the distant origins of some rocks seen around the bay
  • Hear how the San Andreas fault system has rearranged the region.
  • Volcanoes in
May 25, 2006

PubTalk 5/2006 — What Lies Beneath?

Concealed sedimentary basins and hidden oil under Silicon Valley

By Richard G. Stanley, Geologist 


  • Before computers and cubicles there were orchards-- and a few oil wells, too
  • Learn about the "oil boom" in Los Gatos about 100 years ago
  • See how historical records from old oil wells, together with modern
April 27, 2006

PubTalk 4/2006 — California's Greatest Fault

How historical data from 1906 have shed light on the San Andreas Fault

By Carol S. Prentice, Geologist 


  • What insights are gained from merging original 1906 observations and field notes with today's earthquake science?
  • Data collected during and after the catastropic 1906 earthquake prove to be essential to-
March 30, 2006

PubTalk 3/2006 — The Great 1906 Earthquake

Lessons learned, lessons forgotten, and future directions in earthquake science

By Mary Lou Zoback, Seismologist (and Chair of the Steering Committee, 1906 Earthquake Centennial Alliance)

  • The 1906 California disaster taught us that--
    • the San Andreas Fault is a continuous feature extending nearly the length of the State