Location

St. Louis, Missouri

Session Start Date

3-11-1991

Session End Date

3-15-1991

Abstract

Reliable probabilities of future damaging earthquakes in the New Madrid Fault Zone for purposes of mitigation and response planning are not available, even though considerable thought and research has gone into this question. Generalizations sufficient for pre-earthquake planning do exist, however, which suggest the need to prepare for at least a 50% chance of a 6.0 surface wave magnitude event within a decade, but that a repeat of the massive 8.0 magnitude events of 1811-12 need not be of concern for at least another century or two. The Loma Prieta was a significant stimulus toward greater earthquake planning and preparation in the Midwest, but of at least equal stimulus were the December 3, 1990, projection of a possible earthquake on the New Madrid Fault by Iben Browning and the occurrence of a damaging 4.6 magnitude event near New Hamburg, Missouri, on September 26, 1990. The combination of these three factors stimulated an unprecedented level of earthquake awareness and preparation in the central U.S. the benefits of which have already been enjoyed and whose benefits will continue for decades to come.

Department(s)

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Appears In

International Conferences on Recent Advances in Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering and Soil Dynamics

Meeting Name

Second Conference

Publisher

University of Missouri--Rolla

Publication Date

3-11-1991

Document Version

Final Version

Rights

© 1991 University of Missouri--Rolla, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

File Type

text

Language

English

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Earthquake Probabilities on the New Madrid Fault and the Impact of Loma Prieta on Central U.S. Earthquake Preparedness

St. Louis, Missouri

Reliable probabilities of future damaging earthquakes in the New Madrid Fault Zone for purposes of mitigation and response planning are not available, even though considerable thought and research has gone into this question. Generalizations sufficient for pre-earthquake planning do exist, however, which suggest the need to prepare for at least a 50% chance of a 6.0 surface wave magnitude event within a decade, but that a repeat of the massive 8.0 magnitude events of 1811-12 need not be of concern for at least another century or two. The Loma Prieta was a significant stimulus toward greater earthquake planning and preparation in the Midwest, but of at least equal stimulus were the December 3, 1990, projection of a possible earthquake on the New Madrid Fault by Iben Browning and the occurrence of a damaging 4.6 magnitude event near New Hamburg, Missouri, on September 26, 1990. The combination of these three factors stimulated an unprecedented level of earthquake awareness and preparation in the central U.S. the benefits of which have already been enjoyed and whose benefits will continue for decades to come.