Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

The 2018 update of the US National Seismic Hazard Model: Overview of model and implications

November 28, 2019

During 2017–2018, the National Seismic Hazard Model for the conterminous United States was updated as follows: (1) an updated seismicity catalog was incorporated, which includes new earthquakes that occurred from 2013 to 2017; (2) in the central and eastern United States (CEUS), new ground motion models were updated that incorporate updated median estimates, modified assessments of the associated epistemic uncertainties and aleatory variabilities, and new soil amplification factors; (3) in the western United States (WUS), amplified shaking estimates of long-period ground motions at sites overlying deep sedimentary basins in the Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Salt Lake City areas were incorporated; and (4) in the conterminous United States, seismic hazard is calculated for 22 periods (from 0.01 to 10 s) and 8 uniform VS30 maps (ranging from 1500 to 150 m/s). We also include a description of updated computer codes and modeling details. Results show increased ground shaking in many (but not all) locations across the CEUS (up to ~30%), as well as near the four urban areas overlying deep sedimentary basins in the WUS (up to ~50%). Due to population growth and these increased hazard estimates, more people live or work in areas of high or moderate seismic hazard than ever before, leading to higher risk of undesirable consequences from forecasted future ground shaking.

Publication Year 2019
Title The 2018 update of the US National Seismic Hazard Model: Overview of model and implications
DOI 10.1177/8755293019878199
Authors Mark D. Petersen, Allison Shumway, Peter M. Powers, Charles Mueller, Morgan P. Moschetti, Arthur Frankel, Sanaz Rezaeian, Daniel E. McNamara, Nicolas Luco, Oliver S. Boyd, Kenneth S. Rukstales, Kishor Jaiswal, Eric M. Thompson, Susan M. Hoover, Brandon Clayton, Edward H. Field, Yuehua Zeng
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Earthquake Spectra
Index ID 70211034
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Geologic Hazards Science Center