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Faults FAQs - 10 Found

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I am looking to buy land near the location of a large historical earthquake.  I am wondering where the fault line runs.  What is the seismic activity in the area today?  How did the quake change the contours and elevations of the area?

You will have to do some research on this yourself, either in journals or books or at another web site.  A good first book reference in general for this sort of information is Stover and Coffman, (1993) Seismicity of the United States, 1568-1989 (Revised), U.S. Geological Survey professional Paper 1527. (This reference ought to be at a large library or can be purchased from the USGS Store.)  In the above reference there is likely to be a brief article on a particular quake, but also information on other historical earthquakes in the vicinity.  In the article there will be references to primary data about that earthquake.  Your questions about where the fault is and how much the ground was altered are likely to be answered in one or more of those references, which ought to be available at a good university library.  Records from a local historical society may be useful as well.

 

A good first website for this sort of information is the Information by Region section of the Earthquake Hazards Program website.  If the earthquake you are interested in is sufficiently large, you may be able to find some information about it on those webpages.  Also there may be links to a state geological survey which may have the information you want.

 

Another site to check out is the Quaternary Fault and Fold Database.  It has various methods to see the location of fault lines within the United States including a simple interactive map.  It does not necessarily asign a particluar earthquake to a particular fault though.

 

To see the latest seismicity for an area use our real-time earthquake map.  You can choose to display earthquakes for 1 day, 7 days or 30 days, and there is a link to seach the earthquake archives for farther back if needed.

Tags: Seismology, Liquefaction, Tsunamis, Earthquakes, Faults, Tectonics, Magnitude, Prediction