Earthquake response



The Loma Prieta earthquake in northern California gave geophysicists an unexpected chance to mobilize a team to take portable seismographs to an earthquake region. The magnitude-7.1 earthquake occurred Tuesday, October 17 at 5:04 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time. Less than 48 hours after the main shock, IRIS consortium seismologists from Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory in Palisades, N.Y., were setting up new, portable equipment around San Francisco.

The ability to move quickly to the earthquake area was an unanticipated bonus of two National Science Foundation programs: IRIS, the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology in Arlington, Va., and NCEER, the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research in Buffalo, N.Y.