Warren Hall, a 13-story, 530-foot-tall building located on California State University’s East Bay Campus was demolished on Sunday, August 18th at 9am. The building, which has been a fixture on campus since 1971, was deemed seismically unsound and is located just 2,000 feet from the Hayward Fault.
According to SFGate, researchers used the opportunity to observe earthquake activity in the area.
The U.S. Geological Survey took advantage of the blast, which essentially mimics a minor earthquake, to allow researchers to more carefully study and map the Hayward Fault.
USGS crews placed more than 600 seismometers, instruments about the size of tall beer cans, around the neighborhood to register seismic activity. The implosion, which created the equivalent of a magnitude-2.0 earthquake, gave scientists the opportunity to know well in advance exactly when and where the seismic event would occur.
“If you know which areas are known to have greater amplification, for homeowners that’s golden information, because they can do things that can help them prepare for a real event,” said Rufus Catchings, a USGS geophysicist and lead scientist for the experiment.