Seismic hazard in the Nation's breadbasket

Earthquake Spectra
By: , and 



The USGS National Seismic Hazard Maps were updated in 2014 and included several important changes for the central United States (CUS). Background seismicity sources were improved using a new moment-magnitude-based catalog; a new adaptive, nearest-neighbor smoothing kernel was implemented; and maximum magnitudes for background sources were updated. Areal source zones developed by the Central and Eastern United States Seismic Source Characterization for Nuclear Facilities project were simplified and adopted. The weighting scheme for ground motion models was updated, giving more weight to models with a faster attenuation with distance compared to the previous maps. Overall, hazard changes (2% probability of exceedance in 50 years, across a range of ground-motion frequencies) were smaller than 10% in most of the CUS relative to the 2008 USGS maps despite new ground motion models and their assigned logic tree weights that reduced the probabilistic ground motions by 5–20%.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Seismic hazard in the Nation's breadbasket
Series title Earthquake Spectra
DOI 10.1193/103114EQS174M
Volume S1
Issue 31
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
Contributing office(s) Geologic Hazards Science Center
Description 22 p.
First page 109
Last page 130
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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