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Potential effects of a scenario earthquake on the economy of southern California: Intraregional commuter, worker, and earnings flow analysis

October 11, 2008

The Multi-Hazards Demonstration Project (MHDP) is a collaboration between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and various partners from the public and private sectors and academia, meant to improve Southern California's resiliency to natural hazards (Jones and others, 2007). In support of the MHDP objectives, the ShakeOut Scenario was developed. It describes a magnitude 7.8 (M7.8) earthquake along the southernmost 300 kilometers (200 miles) of the San Andreas Fault, identified by geoscientists as a plausible event that will cause moderate to strong shaking over much of the eight-county (Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura) Southern California region (Jones and others, 2008). This report uses selected datasets from the U.S. Census Bureau and the State of California's Employment Development Department to develop preliminary estimates of the number and spatial distribution of commuters who cross the San Andreas Fault and to characterize these commuters by the industries in which they work and their total earnings. The analysis concerns the relative exposure of the region's economy to the effects of the earthquake as described by the location, volume, and earnings of those commuters who work in each of the region's economic sectors. It is anticipated that damage to transportation corridors traversing the fault would lead to at least short-term disruptions in the ability of commuters to travel between their places of residence and work.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2008
Title Potential effects of a scenario earthquake on the economy of southern California: Intraregional commuter, worker, and earnings flow analysis
DOI 10.3133/ofr20081254
Authors Benson C. Sherrouse, D. J. Hester
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2008-1254
Index ID ofr20081254
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Rocky Mountain Geographic Science Center

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