Protect Your Chicago Water Heater Against Earthquakes? There’s A Better Bet.

A California water heater secured against earthquake damage. /
A California water heater secured against earthquake damage. /

12 February 2016--Chicago homeowners, take note: you'll get a better return on your investment if you buy a lottery ticket when the jackpot is high, rather than pay to secure your water heater against earthquake damage.

That's the conclusion of a Northwestern University class of geosciences and civil engineering students who decided to estimate these costs and benefits after an Illinois Emergency Management Agency spokesperson urged Illinois residents to protect their water heaters against earthquakes.

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Mysterious Menominee Crack is Unusual Geological Pop-Up Feature

The Menominee Crack up close, photographed in 2010./ Wayne Pennington
The Menominee Crack up close, photographed in 2010. / Wayne Pennington

10 February 2016--Seismologists studying a massive crack in the ground that appeared north of Menominee, Michigan in 2010 now think they know what the unusual feature might be. But as they explain in their study published this week in the journal Seismological Research Letters, there are still some mysteries to clear up about the strange geological occurrence in the rural Michigan woods.

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BSSA: Mapping LFEs Along the San Andreas Fault

Researchers install temporary seismic stations near Cholame, California along the San Andreas Fault.

26 January 2015--Seismologists working along California's San Andreas Fault near Cholame and Parkfield now have a better idea of how and where friction changes along the fault to produce both shallow earthquakes and the deeper earth tremors called low-frequency earthquakes (LFEs).

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2016 Election Results

25 January 2016 -- The annual election of the Seismological Society of America was held on January 11, 2016.  Votes of current members that were received by the deadline, 5 p.m. (Pacific) on that date were tabulated and validated by Election America, Inc. 

The following nominees for Director were elected to a three-year term beginning in April 2016: Susan Hough, Meghan S. Miller, Jim Mori and John Townend. Four hundred twenty one ballots were received and tabulated. 

SSA 2016 Annual Meeting — Reno, Nevada

Reno Skyline
Photo Credit: Reno Tahoe Territory CC

12 January 2016 – SSA’s 2016 Annual Meeting will be held 20 – 22 April at the Peppermill Hotel Resort in Reno, Nevada. Online registration is now open. The abstract deadline has now passed and over 600 abstract submissions were received. Descriptions of the 34 special sessions planned for the meeting are here

Information and registration for exhibitors is also available. If your organization is interested in meeting sponsorship opportunities please email us at

For further information please visit the meeting home page.

Roger D. Borcherdt Wins the 2016 Bruce A. Bolt Medal

gen36010Borcherdt_Photo30 December 2015 -Roger D. Borcherdt, scientist emeritus at the U.S. Geological Survey and past Shimizu Visiting Professor and consulting professor at Stanford University, is the 2015 recipient of the Bruce A. Bolt Medal. The annual award is presented jointly by the Consortium of Strong Motion Observations Systems (COSMOS), Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI), and the SSA. The Medal recognizes individuals worldwide whose accomplishments involve the promotion and use of strong-motion earthquake data and whose leadership in the transfer of scientific and engineering knowledge into practice or policy has led to improved seismic safety.

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BSSA: Baghdad Seismometer Detects Explosions of Iraq War

In 2006, members of a U.S. Air Force explosive ordnance disposal team unpacked C-4 explosives to detonate a cache of unexploded ordnance recovered from a blast area on FOB Falcon, Iraq, following a mortar attack./ U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jacob H. Smith

22 December 2015 – As they report in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, Ghassan I. Aleqabi and Michael Wysession of Washington University in St. Louis and their colleagues found a rich seismic record of car bombs, mortar explosions and most dramatically, the massive explosions related to a 10 October 2006 ammunition “cookoff” at U.S. Forward Operating Base (FOB) Falcon.

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Latest SSA Journals

February Issue of BSSA Now Available


26 January 2016 – The complete February 2016 issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (BSSA vol. 106, no. 1) is now available online to SSA members and institutional subscribers at GeoScienceWorld and BSSA Online. Click to view the table of contents for the issue. SSA members should log in to the members area and follow the link from there to BSSA Online to access full text or PDFs of all articles from the issue (log in with your SSA username and password required). The print edition of this issue is scheduled to mail on 2 February.

January/February SRL Available

Cover of SRL 87:1.
[SRL Cover Picture]

On the Cover…
On 14 August 2015, a burglar broke into the Bensberg Seismological Station at Cologne University in Cologne, Germany. The burglar left a fingerprint on an iron bar securing a patio door as well as a detailed seismic record of the attempted robbery, as shown in the cover photo. Read more about how the seismogram added details to the investigation in “Analysis of a Burglargram,” the EarthQuake Lites column by Hinzen et al.

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6 January 2016 – Volume 87, Number 1, the January/February 2016 issue of Seismological Research Letters, is now available online at the GeoScienceWorld website. This issue includes:

SSA members can access the complete online edition here.

Not a member? Join now to get immediate access.