Skip to main content

Can the National Seismic Hazard Maps be used as an earthquake forecast tool for the near future?

Not really. The USGS Seismic Hazard Maps website and the Unified Hazard Tool (for building custom maps) are designed to display the probability of different events that might occur in a several-year to several-decade period. The model bases all probability estimates on the average rate of earthquakes over long periods of time.

As you shorten the time window, you should expect greater and greater fluctuations in what might be observed from the mean behavior that would be observed if you had a thousand year time span at your disposal.

Related Content