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Fact Sheet 2012–3014

Understanding Earthquake Hazards in Urban Areas

Evansville Area Earthquake Hazards Mapping Project

By Oliver S. Boyd

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (2 MB)Abstract

The region surrounding Evansville, Indiana, has experienced minor damage from earthquakes several times in the past 200 years. Because of this history and the proximity of Evansville to the Wabash Valley and New Madrid seismic zones, there is concern among nearby communities about hazards from earthquakes. Earthquakes currently cannot be predicted, but scientists can estimate how strongly the ground is likely to shake as a result of an earthquake and are able to design structures to withstand this estimated ground shaking. Earthquake-hazard maps provide one way of conveying such information and can help the region of Evansville prepare for future earthquakes and reduce earthquake-caused loss of life and financial and structural loss.

The Evansville Area Earthquake Hazards Mapping Project (EAEHMP) has produced three types of hazard maps for the Evansville area: (1) probabilistic seismic-hazard maps show the ground motion that is expected to be exceeded with a given probability within a given period of time; (2) scenario ground-shaking maps show the expected shaking from two specific scenario earthquakes; (3) liquefaction-potential maps show how likely the strong ground shaking from the scenario earthquakes is to produce liquefaction. These maps complement the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Seismic Hazard Maps but are more detailed regionally and take into account surficial geology, soil thickness, and soil stiffness; these elements greatly affect ground shaking.

First posted February 6, 2011

For additional information contact:

USGS Geologic Hazards
Box 25046, MS-966
Denver Federal Center
Denver, CO 80225-0046

http://geohazards.cr.usgs.gov/

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Suggested citation:

Boyd, O.S., 2012, Understanding earthquake hazards in urban areas—Evansville Area Earthquake Hazards Mapping Project: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2012-3014, 4 p.



Contents

Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Maps

Scenario-Based Ground Motion Maps

Liquefaction-Potential Maps

Acknowledgments


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