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Abstract

This paper traces the growth of seismology in the western United States, giving emphasis to geological connections. Pre-instrumental foundations of a science of earthquakes were laid late last century by geologists, especially G. K. Gilbert. These early studies were based largely on Quaternary tectonic structural features evident in the west. The 1906 San Francisco earthquake resulted in a tremendous increase in seismological research and knowledge, including H. F. Reid’s “elastic rebound” fault theory of the seismic source, theses on seismic hazards, prediction, seismometry, and other related topics. Significant growth of seismographic networks in California under the auspices of the University of California, Berkeley, and the California Institute of Technology, led to many geologically valuable results on such issues as seismic activity, tectonic patterns, and focal mechanisms. This discussion covers the period up to about 1960.

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