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United States Science

New Map Fingers Future Hot Spots For U.S. Earthquakes 49

sciencehabit writes Earthquake risk assessments can seem pretty abstract at first glance, with their "percent probabilities" and "peak ground accelerations." But the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS's) national hazard maps, updated periodically, pack a powerful punch: Insurance companies and city planners rely heavily on the maps, which influence billions of dollars in construction every year. Today, USGS scientists released the most recent earthquake hazard assessments for the country. Although the picture hasn't changed much on a national scale since the last report in 2008, the devil is in the details, the report's authors say—and some areas in the country are now considered to be at higher risk for powerful quakes than once thought.
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New Map Fingers Future Hot Spots For U.S. Earthquakes

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  • If they spent all that money and time making a map which showed that there was LESS likelihood of earthquakes, people would scream boondogle. Now, because of douchebag grant-suckers, innocent people will suddenly have their insurance rates raised.

    • Starting on page 12 of the report is a series of maps showing the changes since the 2008 report. Of note:

      * The South Carolina seismic zone has been displaced southward by about 50 miles.
      * The New Madrid zone has changed shape, with some areas seeing a substantial reduction in estimated earthquake risk.
      * The risk zones in California are more sharply defined.
      * The risk for the central Rocky Mountains area is higher, but still relatively low.
      * The earthquake risk estimate for coastal Oregon has been reduced.

  • I've been waiting for the Great Earthquake to hit California for the last 30 years. Zzz...
  • by kilodelta ( 843627 ) on Friday July 18, 2014 @09:02AM (#47481731) Homepage
    Why - we had our seismic events millions of years ago. That's why. Big old mountains to my north and the city I live in is comprised of many hills.

    On occasion we do get little 2-4 range tremblors though. Back in 2011 or so we were in the office and all felt a swaying sensation. We all noticed but after noticing just went back to what we were doing.
    • M7 off Cape Ann in 1755 caused damage to young Boston.
      Several alrge faults in NYC area.
      The Saint Lawrence Seaway is a large fault and has quakes periodically.
    • That's actually why I avoid big cities in the Northeast. New York has had a quake of magnitude 5 in the recent past (1884 if I remember). While a 5 is not big, it is serious enough to do damage to unreinforced structures like brick. And the huge number of brick buildings in New York are about as unreinforced as they come. (Brick construction has no lateral strength, and topples over with just slight sideways shaking. One of the few fatalities in the 5.9 Whittier Narrows quake [] was a man who pulled his ca
  • where the state legislature is not afraid to make suh environmental dangers illegal.

  • No historic large quake there, but lots of microseismicity.
    Western Tennesee is in the New Madrid tectonic zone with a large 1811 quake. But that is a dfferent tectonic zone.
  • 1) Very similar to previous USGS hazard maps.
    2) Nearly every high risk zone has an associated large historic earthquake and continuing microseismicity. Seattle's 1700 M9 is just outside of historic memory. Eastern Tennesse has not had a quake.

    3) Few seismic building laws in Eastern US, despite sizeable risk.
  • At long last there is a good reason to live in Minnesota.

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