The growth of megacities in seismically active regions around the world often includes the construction of seismically unsafe buildings and infrastructures due to an insufficient knowledge of existing seismic hazard and/or economic constraints. Minimization of the loss of life, property damage, and social and economic disruption due to earthquakes depends on reliable estimates of seismic hazard. We have produced a suite of seismic hazard estimates for Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. One of the preliminary maps in this suite served as the basis for the Caribbean and Central and South America portion of the Global Seismic Hazard Map (GSHM) published in 1999, which depicted peak ground acceleration (pga) with a 10% chance of exceedance in 50 years for rock sites. Herein we present maps depicting pga and 0.2 and 1.0 s spectral accelerations (SA) with 50%, 10%, and 2% chances of exceedance in 50 years for rock sites. The seismicity catalog used in the generation of these maps adds 3 more years of data to those used to calculate the GSH Map. Different attenuation functions (consistent with those used to calculate the U.S. and Canadian maps) were used as well. These nine maps are designed to assist in global risk mitigation by providing a general seismic hazard framework and serving as a resource for any national or regional agency to help focus further detailed studies required for regional/local needs. The largest seismic hazard values in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America generally occur in areas that have been, or are likely to be, the sites of the largest plate boundary earthquakes. High hazard values occur in areas where shallow-to-intermediate seismicity occurs frequently. ?? 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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Seismic hazard maps of Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America