Science Center Objects

The ShakeOut Scenario was located in southern California where earthquake risk is high compared to the rest of the country. This scenario is a hypothetical, but plausible 7.8 magnitude earthquake on the southern San Andreas Fault. This scenario was completed in May 2008. The ShakeOut Scenario is described in two publications: The Scenario (Jones and others) and The Narrative (Perry and others). Additional and enhanced studies are contained in a special issue of Earthquake Spectra.

The scenario begins with a rupture of the southernmost section of the San Andreas Fault and very strong earthquake ground motions with shaking approaching 3 m/sec near the fault, damaging shaking (at least 0.5 m/sec) over large areas (~10,000 km2) of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties, and pockets of very strong shaking (≥1.5 m/sec) with long durations (45-60 sec) in areas of the San Gabriel Valley and East Los Angeles. Secondary earthquake hazards include landslides and liquefaction (when saturated soil, due to pressure changes caused by earthquake waves, behaves like a liquid and loses its ability to support weight).

Hazards Societal Consequences and Risk Communication Contributions

For the ShakeOut (fig. 1) earthquake scenario, WGSC coordinated the economic consequence (impact and resilience). Wein collaborated with Adam Rose and Dan Wei (University of Southern California) to estimate the economic impacts of building damages from shaking and fire following earthquake, lifeline (water, wastewater, electric power and gas) service outages, and disrupted port operations (fig. 2). Wein oversaw the analysis of economic impacts of highway damages.  WGSC organized workshops for the banking and goods movement industries, and regional government and communities. Numerous economic resilience strategies were compiled from stakeholders during ShakeOut panel and workshop discussions and framed for economic modeling. Finally, the ShakeOut scenario was extended into the recovery phase (with Laurie Johnson Consulting) after localizing the physical damages, lifeline restoration estimates, and economic impact analyses for two communities. 


ShakeOut scenario property damages (left) and business interruption (right) (billions of dollars)

Figure 2. ShakeOut Scenario property damages (left) and business interruption (right) (billions of dollars) (Credit: Anne Wein, USGS. Public domain.)