Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Updated Compilation of VS30 Data for the United States

December 4, 2020

VS30, the time-averaged shear-wave velocity (VS) to a depth of 30 meters, is a key index adopted by the earthquake engineering community to account for seismic site conditions. VS30 is typically based on geophysical measurements of VS derived from invasive and noninvasive techniques at sites of interest. Owing to cost considerations, as well as logistical and environmental concerns, VS30 data are sparse or not readily available for most areas. Where data are available, VS30 values are often assembled in assorted formats that are accessible from disparate and (or) impermanent Websites. To help remedy this situation, we compiled VS30 measurements obtained by studies funded by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and other governmental agencies. Thus far, we have compiled VS30 values for 4,369 sites in the United States, along with metadata for each measurement from government-sponsored reports, online databases, and scientific and engineering journals. Most of the data in our VS30 compilation originated from publications directly reporting the work of field investigators. A subset consisting of 20 percent of VS30 values was previously compiled by the USGS and other research institutions. VS30 originating from these earlier compilations were crosschecked against published reports when clarification was needed. Both downhole and surface-based VS30 estimates are represented in our VS30 compilation. Most of the VS30 data are for sites in the western contiguous United States (3,128 sites); 682 VS30 values are for sites in the Central United States; 267 VS30 values are for sites in the Eastern United States and Puerto Rico; 15 VS30 values are for sites in Alaska; 30 VS30 values are for sites in Hawaii. The remaining 247 sites are in the vicinity of Vancouver, Canada.

Publication Year 2020
Title Updated Compilation of VS30 Data for the United States
DOI 10.5066/P9H5QEAC
Authors Devin F McPhillips, Julie A Herrick, Sean Ahdi, Alan K Yong, Scott Haefner
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Earthquake Hazards Program