The San Andreas Fault is responsible for the formation of California’s dramatic landscapes and for the earthquakes that occasionally rattle the state.

In an illustrated lecture titled “The ‘Big One’ — Coming Soon on a Fault Near You?” pioneering UCSB scientist Tanya Atwater will examine the future of earthquake prediction. Using animation, maps and images, she will demonstrate how researchers are learning about future seismic activity by studying sediment layers in the walls of trenches.

The event, sponsored by the History Associates, will be held at 7 p.m. Nov. 30 at the First Presbyterian Church, 23 E. Constance Ave. in Santa Barbara. Admission is $10. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 805.617.0998.

“We will learn about how a ‘trench party’ gleans information about possible future earthquakes, and vicariously experience what the next big one might be like,” said Atwater, an emeritus professor of geography.

A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Atwater is renowned for her work on the plate tectonic evolution of western North America and the San Andreas Fault system. Her animations are used in classrooms, teaching laboratories, museums and public forums around the world. She has a lifelong passion for maps and large-scale landscapes, both oceanic and terrestrial, and for the plate tectonic processes that shape them.