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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Documentation for the 2008 Update of the United States National Seismic Hazard Maps

The 2008 U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Seismic Hazard Maps display earthquake ground motions for various probability levels across the United States and are applied in seismic provisions of building codes, insurance rate structures, risk assessments, and other public policy. This update of the maps incorporates new findings on earthquake ground shaking, faults, seismicity, and geodesy. The resulting maps are derived from seismic hazard curves calculated on a grid of sites across the United States that describe the frequency of exceeding a set of ground motions.

The USGS National Seismic Hazard Mapping Project developed these maps by incorporating information on potential earthquakes and associated ground shaking obtained from interaction in science and engineering workshops involving hundreds of participants, review by several science organizations and State surveys, and advice from two expert panels.

The National Seismic Hazard Maps represent our assessment of the "best available science" in earthquake hazards estimation for the United States (maps of Alaska and Hawaii as well as further information on hazard across the United States are available on our Web site at http://earthquake.usgs.gov/research/hazmaps/).