Recommendations for seismic design ground motions for nuclear facilities require a consistency with both observed strong motion data and with seismological theory on the characteristics of strong shaking. Different recommendations are appropriate for various regions of the US, because both earthquake source characteristics differ and the earth's crustal properties vary with region.
We mapped and characterized Quaternary site conditions using shear-wave-velocity (Vs)-profile data for basins along the Wasatch Front urban corridor to provide a basis for estimating soil response during earthquake ground shaking. We map site conditions for each individual basin using surficial geologic mapping as a foundation, taking into account local conditions and subsurface information to delineate units using mean Vs for the upper 30 meters (Vs30) that we relate to International Building Code (IBC) site classes.
In areas of broadly distributed extensional strain, the back-tilted edges of a wider than normal horst block may create a synclinal-horst basin. Three Neogene synclinal-horst basins are described from the southern Rio Grande rift and southern Transition Zone of southwestern New Mexico,USA
The Rio Grande rift has a relatively short and unimpressive record of historical seismicity. However there is abundance evidence of prehistoric (Quaternary) surface faulting associated with large (M>6) earthquakes. This paradox between historical and prehistoric seismicity (paleoseismicity) has important implications for seismic-hazards analyses based primarily on modern seismicity.
The spatial and temporal distribution of fault slip is a critical parameter in earthquake source models. Previous geomorphic and geologic studies of channel offset along the Carrizo section of the south central San Andreas Fault assumed that channels form more frequently than earthquakes occur and suggested that repeated large-slip earthquakes similar to the 1857 Fort Tejon earthquake illustrate typical fault behavior. We found that offset channels in the Carrizo Plain incised less frequently than they were offset by earthquakes.
It is important to determine variability in time between earthquakes to constrain uncertainty in probabilistic calculations of rupture potential. Results from our field work since 2005 at the Bidart site in the Carrizo Plain and new radiocarbon dates from archival samples collected for Grant’s 1993 dissertation reveal evidence of six ruptures of the San Andreas fault (SAF) between 1345 and 1857 AD.
Rate and distribution of seismic activity are important indicators of the overall state of tectonic stress within a region. In regions characterized by low levels of seismicity, active fault surfaces are rarely visible at the surface, and the analysis of small-magnitude earthquakes at depth may be the most effective way to identify seismic hazard and risk from ambient tectonic activity.
We document the precise sizes, but not the dates, of the six latest offsets across the San Andreas fault at Wallace Creek, California. Three and perhaps four of these, including the latest in 1857, show dextral offset of 7.5–8 m. The third and fourth offsets, however, are just 1.4 and 5.2 m. The predominance of similar offsets for the latest six events suggests that the fundamental properties of the fault system that control slip size do not vary greatly from event to event. The large offsets imply that ruptures involving this site are typically more than 200 km long.
We conducted paleoseismic studies in a closed depression along the San Andreas fault on the north flank of Frazier Mountain near Frazier Park, California. We recognized two earthquake ruptures in our trench exposure and interpreted the most recent rupture, event 1, to represent the historical 1857 earthquake. We also exposed evidence of an earlier surface rupture, event 2, along an older group of faults that did not rerupture during event 1.