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Video Featuring Earthquake-Hazard Research in San Francisco Bay Wins Shoemaker Award

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A 2000 Shoemaker Communications Award was given to "Future Quakes-Unlocking the Mysteries of Bay Area Earthquake Faults," a video that features Coastal and Marine Geology (CMG) earthquake-hazard research in San Francisco Bay. The half-hour video was produced and directed by Steve Wessells, Video Producer in the Office of the Western Regional Geologist, in cooperation with television station KPIX-5 (CBS affiliate in San Francisco).

"Future Quakes" was planned to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and to gain visibility for the USGS during this time of heightened interest in earthquakes and faults. The show describes how CMG scientists have conducted seismic studies in San Francisco Bay to determine whether the San Andreas and Hayward faults are connected deep within the crust (they're not). The show also describes projects underway by the Earthquake Hazards Program, including trench studies to determine earthquake-recurrence intervals, cone-penetration studies to map susceptibility to shaking and liquefaction, and a project designed to make shaking-intensity maps available to emergency personnel within 2 minutes of a Bay Area earthquake.

The program was broadcast by KPIX-5 at 6:30 p.m. on October 17th, 1999, the 10-year anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake. The video preceded the widely viewed "60 Minutes," and Nielsen ratings for the first broadcast of "Future Quakes" suggest that as many as 400,000 people watched the program. The program aired a second time on KPIX-5 on November 14th, 1999.

To develop content for the program, Steve worked closely with freelance writer Donna Matrazzo and CMG scientists Tom Parsons and Patrick Hart. Valuable data entry and support also came from the Earthquake Hazards Program. Management and program coordinators at KPIX-5 were extremely pleased with "Future Quakes." In addition to the Shoemaker Award, the video has received a Silver Screen Award from the 2000 U.S. International Film and Video Festival and a prestigious Telly Award from the 2000 Telly Awards for advertising and regional television programming.

The packaged videotape is being sold in 10 stores and by mail through the non-profit Golden Gate National Recreation Association. It is also being distributed as USGS Open-File Report 99-519.

Related Sound Waves Stories
CMG Earthquake Research Featured in San Francisco Bay Area TV Program on Tenth Anniversary of Loma Prieta Quake
October 1999

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