- © 1997 by the Seismological Society of America
Earthquakes are among the most deadly and expensive natural disasters affecting humankind. Exposure and vulnerability to the effects of earthquakes is increasing as urban centers grow, especially in tectonically active areas. Although all states within the US experience earthquakes, most seismicity occurs along the western margin plate boundary (including Alaska), the inter-mountain region (Basin and Range), the Mississippi embayment region, and the east coast. The economic and social effects of earthquakes can be reduced through a comprehensive assessment of seismic hazard and risk that leads to increased public awareness, seismically sensitive land-use planning, and the implementation of seismically sound building construction codes. Clear, well-documented assessments of seismic hazard are the first and fundamental step in the mitigation process.
With the recent and pending publications of the 1996 US National Seismic Hazard Maps (Frankel et al., 1996), the Southern California Earthquake Center Phase II (Working Group on California Earthquake Probabilities...