Earthquake Hazards Program

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Educational Publications

Selected publications about earthquakes In plain language.

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USGS Publications Warehouse

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Filter Total Items: 2,119
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Year Published: 2021

Physics‐based evaluation of the maximum magnitude of potential earthquakes induced by the Hutubi (China) underground gas storage

The world’s largest underground gas storage facility in Hutubi (HUGS), China, is a unique case where cyclic gas injection‐extraction induced both seismicity and ground deformation. To assess the potential for future induced seismicity, we develop a framework physically based on a well‐constrained hydro‐geomechanical model and on fully coupled...

Jiang, Guoyan; Liu, Lin; Barbour, Andrew J.; Lu, Renqi; Yang, Hongfeng

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Year Published: 2021

Earthquake magnitudes from dynamic strain

Dynamic strains have never played a role in determining local earthquake magnitudes, which are routinely set by displacement waveforms from seismic instrumentation (e.g., ML⁠). We present a magnitude scale for local earthquakes based on broadband dynamic strain waveforms. This scale is derived from the peak root‐mean‐squared strains (⁠A⁠) in...

Barbour, Andrew J.; Langbein, John O.; Farghal, Noha Sameh Ahmed

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Year Published: 2021

The 2018 update of the US National Seismic Hazard Model: Ground motion models in the central and eastern US

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) National Seismic Hazard Model (NSHM) is the scientific foundation of seismic design regulations in the United States and is regularly updated to consider the best available science and data. The 2018 update of the conterminous US NSHM includes major changes to the underlying ground motion models (GMMs)....

Rezaeian, Sanaz; Powers, Peter M.; Shumway, Allison; Petersen, Mark D.; Luco, Nicolas; Frankel, Arthur; Moschetti, Morgan P.; Thompson, Eric M.; McNamara, Daniel

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Year Published: 2021

Rapid strain release on the Bear River fault zone, Utah–Wyoming—The impact of preexisting structure on the rupture behavior of a new normal fault

Earthquake clustering (grouping in space and time) is a widely observed mode of strain release in the upper crust, although this behavior on individual faults is a departure from classic elastic rebound theory. In this study, we consider factors responsible for a cluster of earthquakes on the Bear River fault zone (BRF), a recently activated...

Hecker, Suzanne; Schwartz, David P.; DeLong, Stephen B.

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Year Published: 2021

Electrical conductivity of pure CO2 hydrate and CH4 hydrate: Role of the guest molecule

To conclude a series of DOE-sponsored laboratory experiments in which our team measured electrical conductivity of methane hydrate-bearing samples, we investigated electrical conductivity of CO2 hydrate for direct comparison with methane hydrate. Their surprisingly distinct signatures could aid in the monitoring of CO2 in certain deep marine...

Stern, Laura A.; Constable, S.; Lu, Ryan; Du Frane, Wyatt L.; Roberts, J. Murray

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Year Published: 2021

Expected warning times from the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system for earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest

The ShakeAlert® earthquake early warning system has been live since October 2019 for the testing of public alerting to mobile devices in California and will soon begin testing this modality in Oregon and Washington. The Pacific Northwest presents new challenges and opportunities for ShakeAlert owing to the different types of earthquakes that occur...

McGuire, Jeffrey J.; Smith, Deborah E.; Frankel, Arthur D.; Wirth, Erin A.; McBride, Sara K.; de Groot, Robert M.
McGuire, J.J., Smith, D.E., Frankel, A.D., Wirth, E.A., McBride, S.K., and de Groot, R.M., 2021, Expected warning times from the ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system for earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest (ver. 1.1, March 24, 2021): U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1026, 37 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20211026.

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Year Published: 2021

Commentary: The role of geodetic algorithms for earthquake early warning in Cascadia

The ShakeAlert earthquake early warning (EEW) system issues public alerts in California and will soon extend to Oregon and Washington. The Cascadia subduction zone presents significant new challenges and opportunities for EEW. Initial publications suggested that EEW algorithms based on Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) data could provide...

McGuire, Jeffrey; Minson, Sarah E.; Murray, Jessica R.; Brooks, Benjamin A.

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Year Published: 2021

Characterizing stress orientations in southern Kansas

Induced seismicity predominantly occurs along faults that are optimally oriented to the local principal compressive stress direction, and the characterization of these stress orientations is an important component of understanding seismic hazards. The seismicity rate in southern Kansas rapidly increased in 2013 primarily due to the disposal of...

Skoumal, Robert; Cochran, Elizabeth S.; Kroll, Kayla A.; Rubinstein, Justin; McPhillips, Devin

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Year Published: 2021

Final report to SCEC on the October 27, 2020 SCEC workshop ‘dynamic rupture TAG – The 2020 ingredients workshop – Rock properties (SCEC rroject 20188)’

This workshop was the third in our series of four SCEC5 workshops designed to evaluate the importance of each of the four ingredients required for dynamic earthquake rupture simulations. The four ingredients are: fault geometry, fault friction, rock properties, and initial stress conditions (Figure 1). The previous two workshops in the ‘...

Harris, Ruth A.; Barall, Michael

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Year Published: 2021

Forecasting induced earthquake hazard using a hydromechanical earthquake nucleation model

In response to the dramatic increase in earthquake rates in the central United States, the U.S Geological Survey began releasing 1 yr earthquake hazard models for induced earthquakes in 2016. Although these models have been shown to accurately forecast earthquake hazard, they rely purely on earthquake statistics because there was no precedent...

Rubinstein, Justin; Barbour, Andrew; Norbeck, Jack H

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Year Published: 2021

Extreme Quaternary plate boundary exhumation and strike slip localized along the southern Fairweather fault, Alaska, USA

The Fairweather fault (southeastern Alaska, USA) is Earth’s fastest-slipping intracontinental strike-slip fault, but its long-term role in localizing Yakutat–(Pacific–)North America plate motion is poorly constrained. This plate boundary fault transitions northward from pure strike slip to transpression where it comes onshore and undergoes a <...

Lease, Richard O.; Haeussler, Peter; Witter, Robert C.; Stockli, Daniel F.; Bender, Adrian; Kelsey, Harvey; O'Sullivan, Paul

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Year Published: 2021

Amateur radio operators help fill earthquake donut holes

If you’ve ever seen tall antennas rising from everyday residences in your community and wondered what they are for, it could be that those homes belong to ham radio enthusiasts who enjoy communicating with each other over the airwaves. In addition to having fun with their radios and finding camaraderie, many ham radio operators are also...

Wald, David J.; Quitoriano, Vince; Dully, Oliver