Earthquake shaking hazard estimates and exposure changes in the conterminous United States

Earthquake Spectra
By: , and 

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Abstract

A large portion of the population of the United States lives in areas vulnerable to earthquake hazards. This investigation aims to quantify population and infrastructure exposure within the conterminous U.S. that are subjected to varying levels of earthquake ground motions by systematically analyzing the last four cycles of the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) National Seismic Hazard Models (published in 1996, 2002, 2008 and 2014). Using the 2013 LandScan data, we estimate the numbers of people who are exposed to potentially damaging ground motions (peak ground accelerations at or above 0.1g). At least 28 million (~9% of the total population) may experience 0.1g level of shaking at relatively frequent intervals (annual rate of 1 in 72 years or 50% probability of exceedance (PE) in 50 years), 57 million (~18% of the total population) may experience this level of shaking at moderately frequent intervals (annual rate of 1 in 475 years or 10% PE in 50 years), and 143 million (~46% of the total population) may experience such shaking at relatively infrequent intervals (annual rate of 1 in 2,475 years or 2% PE in 50 years). We also show that there is a significant number of critical infrastructure facilities located in high earthquake-hazard areas (Modified Mercalli Intensity ≥ VII with moderately frequent recurrence interval).

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Earthquake shaking hazard estimates and exposure changes in the conterminous United States
Series title Earthquake Spectra
DOI 10.1193/111814EQS195M
Volume 31
Issue S1
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
Publisher location Berkeley, CA
Contributing office(s) Geologic Hazards Science Center
Description 20 p.
First page 201
Last page 220
Country United States
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N