HazardHub Earthquake Risk Files
Earthquakes are rare, but pose serious risk to life and property when they do occur. In addition to the massive damage that can happen to structures and infrastructure, disruption of business continuity and loss of income for several weeks can rival the costs of structural damage for companies and households. When and where the next earthquake will occur is impossible to predict. Science, however, can provide:
1) the locations where earthquake events are most likely to occur;
2) the potential magnitude and structural damage that such events will produce.
Earthquake events are focused in areas of ongoing tectonic movement mostly along plate boundaries and active fault zones which have been well documented by geologists. In the conterminous United States, active fault zones are concentrated in the western states, especially at the boundary of the Pacific and North American Plates. There are other areas which have a geologic/historic record of tectonic activity such as the New Madrid Fault Zone centered on the boot-heel of Missouri and another area centered on Charleston, South Carolina.