The careful researcher consults earthquake catalogs at the beginning of any project to know the seismic history of the region of study. Today, catalogs are online. In general they are listings of earthquake parameters that can be used to retrieve seismograms of earthquakes of interest to the researcher.

For California and West Coast earthquakes, early researchers used descriptive catalogs compiled by Lick Observatory Director Edward S. Holden for the time period 1769–1896 and U. S. Weather Bureau meteorologist Alexander G. McAdie, who updated Holden's catalog in 1907 to include earthquakes up to and including the 1906 sequence that affected San...

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