A couple of weeks ago — darn, how did we miss this? — the BBC touched down by helicopter at California Memorial Stadium to film a segment for the
show Naked Earth BBC series Naked Earth, which is likely to be renamed when it broadcasts in the US to avoid confusion with a National Geographic series.
According to Andrea Hicklin, who works in media relations at UC, on August 26 about eight crew members arrived to get footage of the stadium for a piece focusing on the seismic activity of the Hayward Fault.
Hicklin says UC Berkeley faculty member Roland Burgmann, professor of earth and planetary science, was interviewed on the field and at different points around the stadium. He was also picked up in a helicopter, which landed inside of the stadium, and flown to Mount Diablo to continue the segment. The BBC host and Burgmann continued their interview while inside the helicopter. The film crew also took aerial footage of the stadium and the campus.
“It was a lot of fun,” Hikclin says. “The crew got really good footage of the famous KK crack in the stadium and a wonderful interview with Roland Burgmann.”
Hicklin refers, of course, to the very visible fissure in the KK seating section of the 75,662-capacity stadium. The Hayward Fault runs in a line from KK, under Section LL, through both end zones and out Section XX. The stadium is currently undergoing a $321 million retrofit which will see much of the current seating and existing structure removed and replaced. Braces, in evidence on the building now, will support the edifice while it is being rebuilt.
Memorial Stadium was built in 1923 directly over the Hayward Fault, which the U.S. Geological Survey estimates has a 70% chance 31% of hatching a 6.7-magnitude or greater quake by 2030 2038.
According to experts who have studied the stadium, the earth could move up to 6 feet horizontally and 2 feet vertically, presenting a challenge to engineers charged with saving the stadium and the football fans who might be inside.
Naked Earth focuses on geological happenings in real time. We will have to wait until the end of 2011 to see the episode featuring Berkeley’s sports arena, however. A joint production between the BBC and
National Geographic Discovery Channel, it will be broadcast on the BBC in Europe and on Discovery Channel here.