Seismic Hazards -- Maps, Probabilities, and EQ Engineering
What is a seismic zone, or seismic hazard zone? Where can I find information on seismic zones 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4? What seismic zone is location X in?
A seismic zone could be one of three things:
What is seismic hazard? What is a seismic hazard map? How are they made? How are they used? Why are there different maps, and which one should I use?
Seismic hazard is the hazard associated with potential earthquakes in a particular area, and a seismic hazard map shows the relative hazards in different areas. The maps are made by considering what we currently know about:
Determining your risk with regard to earthquakes, or more precisely shaking from earthquakes, isn't as simple as finding the nearest fault.
Published maps will only provide generalized, uninterpreted information about specific areas.
You should consider the following factors when deciding whether or not to get earthquake insurance:
Try the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research website for that information.
What is the likelihood of a large earthquake at location X? Is it safe to go to X since they've been having a lot of earthquakes lately?
The National Seismic Hazards Mapping project provides an online web tool for determining the probability of a large earthquake within 50 kilometers (~31 miles) of a specific location over a certain time period.
What is the probability that an earthquake will occur in the Los Angeles Area? In the San Francisco Bay area?
Los Angeles area: Within the next 30 years the probability is:
Worldwide the probability that an earthquake will be followed within 3 days by a large earthquake nearby is somewhere just over 6%. In California, that probability is about 6%.
No. Forecasts are rather like weather forecasts, while earthquake probabilities are more like climate. Here are some distinctions:Probabilities
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