Scientific data helps create seismic hazard maps

Fault lines in Los Angeles region , showing possible high risk seismic zones
Topography of Los Angeles region combined with locations of fault lines (black lines), elevation information from Endeavour
Credits: NASA

The newly created Southern California Earthquake Center has build up a data base of the region’s seismographic nature in hope to prevent devastating events like in the 1989 San Francisco 6.7 Magnitude Earthquake through better risk assessment.

Earthquakes cannot be predicted, but better knowledge about the faults, motion and ruptures can be useful to make an estimation of future seismic events and so support the infrastructure works – better buildings assessment and more efficient response.

With a thorough analysis of more than 300 earthquakes site in the Los Angeles area, the scientists made a estimation shaking-map based on ground structure, geology, fault paths. The SCEC’s is working on simulation in order to help create more efficient response strategies. One drill has already taken place in 2013 and involved 9.6 million participants.