Berkeley Seismological Laboratory


The Berkeley Seismological Laboratory (BSL) conducts research on earthquake processes and Earth structure, provides timely and accurate earthquake information to a variety of public and private agencies, and assists in the education of students and the public in earthquake science.

Scientists at the BSL conduct research on earthquakes on both the regional and global scales. Faculty, staff, and students are involved in a variety of active projects. The BSL brings together faculty from the Department of Earth and Planetary Science and the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering as well as graduate students, who are typically associated with the Department of Earth and Planetary Science. The BSL has a long history in the fields of earthquake science and earthquake information. Since 1887, the Seismological Laboratory has been involved in operating seismic networks in central and northern California, with the mission:

• to conduct and promote research to further our understanding of earthquake processes and of earth structure at the regional and global scale.; 

• to provide timely and accurate earthquake information, particularly concerning central and northern California earthquakes, to a variety of public and private agencies including emergency response operators and the press; and 

• to assist in the education and training of students and the public in earthquake science. Visit the Education and Outreach page

Detailed information regarding the BSL's operations and research may be found in the Annual Report

Richard Allen
(510) 642-3977
Mailing address

215 McCone Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-4760

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect the official policies or positions of the campus.
July 26, 2019
Cirrus Wood
The Berkeley Seismological Lab's MyShake app, which turns a smartphone into a seismometer and lets its users participate as citizen scientists in the development of a global earthquake early warning network, is now available for iOS. "We're trying to build out our usership and make sure we're providing a quality experience for everyone," says Jennifer Strauss, external relations officer for the Seismological Lab and regional coordinator for ShakeAlert Northern California. MyShake offers users information on recent and historic earthquakes, describes how the events could affect the user's location at the time, and offers safety tips. The app collects data through the phone's accelerometer to record location, measure ambient tremors, and report the findings back to the lab, while users can also report their personal reactions to tremors. In planned updates, the app will be able to provide early-warning alerts, but before that can happen the developers need to have more people using the app. Strauss assures users that the app does not track data when inactive, and it doesn't report any data that's unrelated to earthquake monitoring. For more on this, see our press release from 2016, when the app was first introduced, in Berkeley News.