Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Updates to and applications of the USGS National Crustal Model for seismic hazard studies

April 1, 2022

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Crustal Model (NCM) is being developed to assist in the modeling of seismic hazards across the conterminous United States. The NCM is composed of a grid of geophysical profiles, extending from the Earth’s surface into the upper mantle. It is constructed from a 3D geologic framework and geophysical rules defined by: (1) a petrologic and mineral physics database; (2) a 3D temperature model; and (3) a calibrated rock type- and age-dependent porosity model. Parameters needed to estimate site response for existing ground motion models (GMMs), including the time-averaged velocity in the upper 30 meters (VS30) and the depths to 1.0 and 2.5 km/s shear-wave velocity (Z1.0 and Z2.5), can be extracted from the NCM. As GMMs develop, other metrics could also be extracted or derived from the NCM such as sediment thickness and travel times, fundamental frequency, a fully frequency-dependent site response function, or 3D geophysical volumes for wavefield simulations. Application of the NCM may also benefit other aspects of seismic hazard analysis including better accounting for path-dependent attenuation and geometric spreading, more accurate estimation of earthquake source properties such as hypocentral location and stress drop, and calculation of crustal strength profiles that inform estimates of the base of seismicity.

Publication Year 2022
Title Updates to and applications of the USGS National Crustal Model for seismic hazard studies
Authors Oliver S. Boyd
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Abstract or summary
Index ID 70234160
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Geologic Hazards Science Center