St. Louis has experienced minor earthquake damage at least 12 times in the past 200 years. Because of this history and its proximity to known active earthquake zones, the St. Louis Area Earthquake Hazards Mapping Project (SLAEHMP) is producing digital maps that show variability of earthquake hazards, including liquefaction and ground shaking, in the St. Louis area. The maps will be available free via the internet. Although not site specific enough to indicate the hazard at a house-by-house resolution, they can be customized by the user to show specific areas of interest, such as neighborhoods or transportation routes.
Earthquakes currently cannot be predicted, but scientists can estimate how strongly the ground is likely to shake as the result of an earthquake. Earthquake hazard maps provide one way of conveying such estimates. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), which produces earthquake hazard maps for the Nation, is working with local partners to develop detailed maps for urban areas vulnerable to strong ground shaking. These partners, which along with the USGS comprise the SLAEHMP, include the Missouri University of Science and Technology-Rolla (Missouri S&T), Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS), Saint Louis University, Missouri State Emergency Management Agency, and URS Corporation. Preliminary hazard maps covering a test portion of the 29-quadrangle St. Louis study area have been produced and are currently being evaluated by the SLAEHMP. A USGS Fact Sheet summarizing this project was produced and almost 1000 copies have been distributed at several public outreach meetings and field trips that have featured the SLAEHMP (Williams and others, 2007). In addition, a USGS website focusing on the SLAEHMP, which provides links to project results and relevant earthquake hazard information, can be found at: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/ceus/urban_map/st_louis/index.php. This progress report summarizes the methodology and data used to generate these preliminary maps. For more details about many of the topics in this summary the reader is referred to the Karadeniz (2007) and Chung (2007) Ph.D. theses.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
St. Louis Area Earthquake Hazards Mapping Project - A Progress Report-November 2008