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Methods of Mmax Estimation East of the Rocky Mountains

Open-File Report 2009-1018

Prepared with funding from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
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Abstract

Several methods have been used to estimate the magnitude of the largest possible earthquake (Mmax) in parts of the Central and Eastern United States and adjacent Canada (CEUSAC). Each method has pros and cons. The largest observed earthquake in a specified area provides an unarguable lower bound on Mmax in the area. Beyond that, all methods are undermined by the enigmatic nature of geologic controls on the propagation of large CEUSAC ruptures. Short historical-seismicity records decrease the defensibility of several methods that are based on characteristics of small areas in most of CEUSAC. Methods that use global tectonic analogs of CEUSAC encounter uncertainties in understanding what 'analog' means. Five of the methods produce results that are inconsistent with paleoseismic findings from CEUSAC seismic zones or individual active faults.

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Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Methods of Mmax Estimation East of the Rocky Mountains
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
2009-1018
Edition:
-
Year Published:
2009
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s):
U.S. Geological Survey
Description:
iv, 44 p.
Online Only (Y/N):
Y