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 assign a particular 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 search the earthquake archives for farther back if needed.
What is the relationship between faults and earthquakes? What happens to a fault when an earthquake occurs?
Ever since the great magnitude 9.2 earthquake shook Alaska 50 years ago today, scientists have suspected that the quake's rupture halted at the southwestern tip of Kodiak Island due to a natural barrier.
MINERAL, Va. –Residents of Louisa, Goochland and Fluvanna counties may notice a low-flying airplane over the area the next 11 days as scientists from the U.S. Geological Surveymap the underground faults responsible for the region’s Aug. 23, 2011 earthquake.
The U.S. Geological Survey has a new website that offers a virtual tour of the Hayward fault.
What are the faults in my state and where are they? When did they last have an earthquake? Now you can find out the answer to these questions online through a user-friendly interface developed by the USGS.
In a first of its kind study U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Duke University seismologists have used tiny "microearthquakes" along a section of California’s notorious San Andreas Fault to create unique images of the contorted geology scientists will face as they continue drilling deeper into the fault zone to construct a major earthquake "observatory.
Sunday’s magnitude 7.9 earthquake in central Alaska created a scar across the landscape for more than 145 miles, according to surveys conducted the past two days by geologists from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Survey.
Shaded relief image of the Santa Rosa area showing active faults (black lines) and the detailed rupture pattern of the Rodgers Creek Fault where it crosses central Santa Rosa (in red). The orange, bean-shaped area represents the dense, magnetic body of rock on the east side of the fault beneath Santa Rosa. This body of rock may be largely responsible for the pattern of...
Fault trace in trees west of the Mentasta Road. Tallest trees are perhaps 40 feet tall.
The map above shows the location of mapped faults and surficial geology of the central Mojave Desert region in southern California.
Damage from the magnitude 9.2 earthquake in Alaska on March 27, 1964.
The purpose of this map is to show the location of and evidence for recent movement on active fault traces within the Hayward Fault Zone, California. The mapped traces represent the integration of the following three different types of data: (1) geomorphic expression, (2) creep (aseismic fault slip),and (3) trench exposures.
Map of known active geologic faults in the San Francisco Bay region, California, including the Hayward Fault. The 72 percent probability of a magnitude (M) 6.7 or greater earthquake in the region includes well-known major plate-boundary faults, lesser-known faults, and unknown faults. The percentage shown within each colored circle is the probability that a M 6.7 or...