SF Bay Area building demolition fuels earthquake study

Goal to analyze dangerous Hayward fault

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 2000 feet 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.

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