News

Podcast: Here’s what our recent quake sounded like

January 12, 2018
By: Anne Brice

Toppling tchotchkes and whining dogs were only some of the sounds from last week’s 4.4-magnitude earthquake on the Hayward Fault. Underground at UC Berkeley, seismic sensors captured the quake’s deep rumble.

Peggy Hellweg
Geophysicist Peggy Hellweg and her colleagues at Berkeley’s Seismological Lab monitor seismic sensors placed across campus.

Geophysicist Peggy Hellweg and her colleagues at Berkeley’s Seismological Lab monitor the sensors. There are a bunch of them all over campus, but the sensors that captured this quake are in a seismic station in the Byerly Vault, about 140 feet underground in the Berkeley hills behind the UC Botanical Garden.

This earthquake’s epicenter was near the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley, about 8 miles below the earth’s surface. The sound it produced took about two seconds to get to the Byerly Vault.