100 years of recording

By By Federico Martin

By Federico Martin

Earthquake monitoring at the U turned 100 years old earlier this month, giving professors and researchers a chance to honor the man who first recorded each shake, rattle and roll.

The U hosted a ceremony to celebrate the earthquake-recording centennial on June 29 at the James E. Talmage building, named for the former U president who created the center in 1907.

The event, organized by members of the U’s Seismograph Stations, featured a speech from Utah Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert.

“I am here to pay tribute to a visionary person,” Herbert said of Talmage, who was also one of the youngest U presidents, serving at age 32 in 1894.

When the first seismograph was installed at the U 100 years ago, it was only the fifth in the United States.

“I have worked long and arduously to have an earthquake recorder installed at the University of Utah,” Talmage wrote in his journal on June 29, 1907.

Much has changed in earthquake monitoring and recording since the U started recording earthquakes.

Currently, the school is developing the Kennecott Earthquake Information Center, thanks to a $600,000 donation from Kennecott Utah Copper.

When opened, the center will be one of two major regional facilities in the Intermountain area.

According to Walter Arabasz, director of the U’s seismograph stations, the money will be used to cover building costs and to purchase equipment to furnish the earthquake observatory.

The center will create new jobs and students will be able to use the facility for research and technical training.

“(It) will continue to help the U play a critical public service role,” Arabasz said.