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Earthquake history of the United States

January 1, 1982

This publication is a history of the prominent earthquakes in the United States from historical times through 1970. It supersedes all previous editions with the same or similar titles (see page ii) and, in addition to updating earthquake listings through 1970, contains several additions and corrections to previous issues. It also brings together under a common cover earthquake data previously listed in two separate reports: Earthquake History of the United States, Part I, Stronger Earthquakes of the United States (Exclusive of California and Western Nevada) and Earthquake History of the United States, Part II, Stronger Earthquakes of California and Western Nevada. Another addition to this publication is the inclusion of a section describing earthquakes in the Puerto Rico region.

For the purpose of listing and describing earthquakes, the United States has been divided into nine regions: (1) Northeastern Region, which includes New England and New York activity and observations of the principal earthquakes of eastern Canada; (2) Eastern Region, including the central Appalachian seismic region activity and the area near Charleston, S.C.; (3) Central Region, which consists of the area between the region just described and the Rocky Mountains; (4) Western Mountain Region, which includes all remaining states except those on the Pacific coast; (5) Washington and Oregon; (6) Alaska; (7) Hawaii; (8) Puerto Rico; and (9) California and Western Nevada. This arrangement has been made chiefly with reference to the natural seismic divisions. It also is a convenient arrangement because there are only three states where there is an important division of earthquake activity: In Tennessee, there are quite distinct areas at opposite ends of the state that fall into different regions. Only central and eastern Nevada are included in the Western Mountain Region, as the activity of the western part is closely associated with that of California. Some earthquake activity has occurred in the part of Texas located in the Western Mountain Region.

The map facing page 1 shows locations of all earthquakes in the regions that follow. A small map showing the area covered by each region immediately precedes the résumé of each chapter (except for the Alaska, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii regions). The seismic risk map below was developed in January 1969 for the conterminous United States by Dr. S. T. Algermissen of NOAA's Environmental Research Laboratories. Subject to revision as continuing research warrants, it is an updated edition of a map divides the United States into four zones: Zone 0, areas with no reasonable expectancy of earthquake damage; Zone 1, expected minor damage; Zone 2, expected moderate damage; and Zone 3, major destructive earthquakes may occur.

Publication Year 1982
Title Earthquake history of the United States
Authors Jerry L. Coffman, Carl A. Von Hake, Carl W. Stover
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype Federal Government Series
Series Title Publication
Series Number 41-1
Index ID 70114182
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse