HAYWARD, Calif. – Every time the ground trembles in the San Francisco Bay Area, people ask themselves: Could this be the big one?
For years now, the region has been bracing for a major earthquake that many worry could unleash near-apocalyptic chaos. On Saturday, scientists hope to get one up on the looming temblor, courtesy of the demolition of a university building.
Workers plan to implode the 13-story Warren Hall at Cal State East Bay, located about 600 meters from what researchers call one of the most dangerous fault lines in the country: the Hayward fault.
The demolition is expected to send out shockwaves similar to a magnitude-2.0 earthquake. U.S. Geological Survey scientists hope the unique experiment will help map out where the ground might shake the most when the big one hits.