Expert to discuss the Great Sumatran Earthquake


CORVALLIS, Ore. - A prominent earthquake geologist will discuss the recent Sumatran quakes in the 2005 Condon Lecture at Oregon State University on Thursday, Oct 6.

Kerry Sieh, the Robert P. Sharp Professor of Geology at the California Institute of Technology, was the first to document prehistoric earthquakes on California's San Andreas Fault. He was using similar research methods in Indonesia in the months before the great earthquake and tsunami of December, 2004, and followed up that fieldwork after the second major quake in March, 2005.

Sieh will detail the effects of the rupture of these two adjoining "megathrust" segments in a presentation entitled "The Great Sumatran Earthquakes of 2004 and 2005." The lecture begins at 8 p.m. at OSU's LaSells Stewart Center and is free and open to the public.

Sieh believes that the segment that ruptured during these two quakes is now "safe" for the next several hundred years. But danger remains on the same megathrust to the north in Myanmar and India, and to the south in the part of Sumatra south of the equator. He says that these lengths of the megathrust will be crucibles in which our ability and willingness to mitigate future great disasters will be tested.

The Condon Lecture Series, which honors Oregon's first geology professor, brings recent scientific advances to general audiences.