A Century of Earthquakes

On April 18, 1906 a powerful earthquake shook San Francisco leading to fires that devastated the city. That earthquake brought seismology into the forefront as a science in the U.S. This poster outlines the lessons learned from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and discusses much of the science we have learned from 100 years of large earthquakes since.


  • The elastic rebound theory provides a model for the accumulation and sudden release of stress as an earthquake.
  • Over the past 100 years, the three largest earthquakes account for nearly half of the totoal seismic energy release of the planet.
  • "Great" earthquakes are generated by subduction zones becuase the fault geometry allows large sections of brittle crust to slip at once.


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