The construction of a probabilistic ground-motion hazard map for a region follows a sequence of analyses beginning with the selection of an earthquake catalog and ending with the mapping of calculated probabilistic ground-motion values (Hanson and others, 1992). An integral part of this process is the creation of sources used for the calculation of earthquake recurrence rates and ground motions. These sources consist of areas and lines that are representative of geologic or tectonic features and faults.
After the design of the sources, it is necessary to arrange the coordinate points in a particular order compatible with the input format for the SEISRISK-III program (Bender and Perkins, 1987). Source zones are usually modeled as a point-rupture source. Where applicable, linear rupture sources are modeled with articulated lines, representing known faults, or a field of parallel lines, representing a generalized distribution of hypothetical faults. Based on the distribution of earthquakes throughout the individual source zones (or a collection of several sources), earthquake recurrence rates are computed for each of the sources, and a minimum and maximum magnitude is assigned.
Over a period of time from 1978 to 1980 several conferences were held by the USGS to solicit information on regions of the United States for the purpose of creating source zones for computation of probabilistic ground motions (Thenhaus, 1983). As a result of these regional meetings and previous work in the Pacific Northwest, (Perkins and others, 1980), California continental shelf, (Thenhaus and others, 1980), and the Eastern outer continental shelf, (Perkins and others, 1979) a consensus set of source zones was agreed upon and subsequently used to produce a national ground motion hazard map for the United States (Algermissen and others, 1982).
In this report and on the accompanying disk we provide a complete list of source areas and line sources as used for the 1982 and later 1990 seismic hazard maps for the conterminous U.S. and Alaska. These source zones are represented in the input form required for the hazard program SEISRISK-III, and they include the attenuation table and several other input parameter lines normally found at the beginning of an input data set for SEISRISK-III.