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David D. Bowman, professor of geological sciences at California State University Fullerton, will give a guest lecture on earthquake prediction techniques at the San Bernardino County Museum in Redlands on Wednesday, March 27 at 7:30 p.m. The presentation is open to the public at no cost.

It has been suggested that large earthquakes are preceded by a systematic increase in the rate of background seismicity in a broad region around the impending event. This rate change, known as “accelerating moment release” (AMR), has been proposed as a signal that could be used to forecast large earthquakes. If this idea is correct, then it should be possible to estimate the likelihood of an earthquake by searching for accelerating seismicity related to stress accumulation on specific faults.

“We have tested the ability of this approach to predict both moderate earthquakes in California and large earthquakes globally,” said Bowman. “The initial results are not promising; our algorithm does not perform significantly better than random guessing at predicting earthquakes. However, recent observations of non-volcanic tremor and ‘slow earthquakes’ suggest significant increases in regional seismicity associated with these non-seismic fault slip events. This suggests that AMR may be precursory to a broader range of fault slip events than traditionally-defined earthquakes, and may explain the apparent failure of AMR prediction schemes based solely on standard earthquake catalogs.”

Bowman received a B.S. and Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Southern California. After completing his doctorate in 1999, Dr. Bowman moved to Paris, France where he was a Chateaubriand Postdoctoral Fellow in the Tectonics Lab of theInstitut de Physique du Globe de Paris (Institute for Earth Physics). He has been a member of the faculty of the Department of Geological Sciences at Cal State Fullerton since 2001 and Chair of the department since 2007. Bowman’s specialty is earthquake physics; his current research interests are regional seismicity associated with large earthquakes and the formation and evolution of fault systems. His research has taken him to field work in exotic locales such as New Zealand, northern Tibet, central Greece, and Northridge, California.

The San Bernardino County Museum is at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 9 am to 5pm. General admission is $8 (adult), $6 (military or senior), $5 (student), and $4 (child aged 5 to 12). Children under five and Museum Association members are admitted free. Parking is free. For more information, visit www.co.san-bernardino.ca.us/museum/. The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. If assistive listening devices or other auxiliary aids are needed in order to participate in museum exhibits or programs, requests should be made through Museum Visitor Services at least three business days prior to your visit. Visitor Services’ telephone number is 909-307-2669 ext. 229 or (TDD) 909-792-1462.

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