Using the Latest Earthquakes Map and List
Table of Contents
Information describing event-specific data can be found by reading, Technical Terms used on Event Pages.
The new Earthquake Map/List pages are slower than the older generation earthquake maps (recenteqs) because they provide additional benefits to viewing and interacting with the earthquake data.
If you are using a mobile device to view the earthquake pages, or have limited bandwidth, here are a few steps you can take to improve your experience using the interface:
- Avoid loading large feeds (7 Days, All Magnitudes & 30 Days, Magnitude 2.5+).
- Use the Grayscale Maps (Settings > Map Layers > Grayscale).
- View earthquakes in the List, instead of on the Map.
The 4 icons in the top right corner toggle the following content in and out of view:
- List List
- Map Map
- Settings Settings
- Help Help
The list is loaded by default the first time you open the interface. The list can be toggled in and out of view by clicking on List in the top right corner. The list provides the least resource intensive method for viewing earthquakes. The list loads all earthquakes from the currently selected feed (Settings > Earthquakes), and by default shows the most recent earthquake first (Settings > List Sort Order).
- List items in bold are magnitude 4.5 and greater.
- List items with a red background have been identified as "significant", based on a combination of magnitude, PAGER alert level, and the number of Did You Feel It? responses.
- Selecting an earthquake in the list will highlight the event in the list and on the map. It will also open a pop-up with basic information for that event. A "button" will appear for DYFI, ShakeMap, Pager, and a tsunami message if these products are available.
- The download link is found at the top of the list.
- Downloads are available in the following formats: ATOM, CSV, GeoJSON, GeoJSONP, KML and QuakeML.
- The CSV format is compatible with Microsoft Excel and other spreadsheet software. Open Excel and choose the “Import…” option. Make sure it is using the “comma-delimited with quotes for strings” format.
- Downloading a list of earthquakes will download the worldwide list of earthquakes not just those in the map view. See Earthquake Search and Web Service API Documentation.
To show (or hide on desktop) the map, click Map in the top right corner. Earthquakes from the currently selected feed (Settings > Earthquakes) are loaded onto the map.
- Earthquakes are plotted on the map as circles and non-earthquakes are plotted as diamonds (in most browsers). For users of older browsers, all events may be plotted as squares.
- Earthquake sizes are relative to the magnitude of the seismic event. The markers will scale depending on your device type and the zoom level of the map.
- Earthquake colors are relative to the age of the earthquake (red = past hour, orange = past day, yellow = past week, and white = older than past week).
- Selecting an earthquake marker on the map will highlight the marker on the map and in the list. It will also open a pop up with basic information for that event. A "button" will appear for DYFI, ShakeMap, Pager, and a tsunami message if these products are available.
- Plus/ Minus
- Click the plus or minus control to zoom in or out, respectively.
- Magnifying Glass
- Click the magnifying glass control to enable box zoom. With the crosshair cursor, click and drag, to define a box on the map. The map will zoom in on the defined area.
- Zoom to…
- Select a place from the "Zoom to" drop-down control, to pan and zoom the map to the specified location.
- Use the keyboard plus and minus keys, map controls (+,-), box zoom tool (magnifying glass), mouse scroll wheel, or double click the map to zoom.
- Click and drag, or use the arrow keys (left,right,up,down) to pan the map.
- Click on an event marker to open a pop-up summary of the event (bottom-left corner of screen). Click the "X" in the upper-right corner of the event summary to close the pop-up.
- Hover over a U.S. fault, when the fault layer is visible, to display a tooltip with the fault name (Settings > Map Layers > U.S. Faults).
Map Layers can be changed in Settings > Map Layers.
- Grayscale Map
A light gray basemap designed with neutral colors and minimal features.
- Terrain Map
A distinctive, highly detailed, basemap that reflects National Geographic's cartographic style. The terrain map is designed to be aesthetically pleasing.
- Street Map
A hybrid view, that provides detailed street and highway-level data on top of terrain data.
- Satellite Map
An aerial view that uses satellite or aerial imagery.
- Plate Boundaries
An overlay depicting plate boundaries. Plate boundaries are displayed as bold red lines.
- U.S. Faults
An overlay depicting U.S. Faults. U.S. Faults are displayed as thin red lines, and the fault names display as hover text.
- U.S. Hazards
The U.S. Hazards overlay defines areas of shaking. Red characterizes areas in the U.S. with the highest levels of shaking, while blue distinguishes areas with the lowest levels of shaking.
To show settings (or hide on desktop), click Settings in the top right corner. You can save your settings or search results by bookmarking the resulting URL in your browser.
This option will automatically update the earthquake data every minute. Auto update defaults to ON for desktop devices and OFF for mobile devices.
The default feed is set to display earthquakes of magnitude 2.5 and greater during the past 24 hrs (1 Day, Magnitude 2.5+). You can choose from the following options:
- 1 Day, Magnitude 2.5+ [default]
- 1 Day, All Magnitudes
- 7 Days, Magnitude 4.5+
- 7 Days, Magnitude 2.5+
- 7 Days, All Magnitudes
- 30 Days, Magnitude 4.5+
- 30 Days, Magnitude 2.5+
Search Earthquake Archives
See Search Earthquake Archives for more details on how to search the catalog.
List Sort Order
Choose the order to display the earthquakes in the list:
- Newest first [default]
- Oldest first
- Largest magnitude first
- Smallest magnitude first
See Map Layers for more information on each layer.
Choose from one of four base maps:
- Grayscale [default]
You can enable/ disable any of the overlays on the map:
- Plate Boundaries [default=ON]
- U.S. Faults
- U.S. Hazards
The time for the earthquakes displayed in this interface will be based on:
- Local System Time – the time setting of your device
- Event Epicenter Time – the time in each earthquake epicenter region
- UTC – Universal Coordinated Time (similar to GMT)
Search Earthquake Archives
If you want to display earthquakes older than 30 days, or you want to search the earthquake catalog, click on "Search Earthquake Archives".
- Search results are limited to 20,000 events.
- Your search results will be saved and listed in this section until you close the browser window or load a different search URL.
How to Print
To print the map, take a screenshot by following these instructions:
- PC: Click the browser window, and press [Alt] + [Print Screen] to capture a screenshot of the map. The screenshot can be printed by pasting it into Microsoft PowerPoint, etc.
- Mac: Click the browser window, and press [Command] + [Shift] +  to capture a screenshot of the map. The captured image is saved to the Desktop.
Using your browser's print feature will print the list of earthquakes in a printer friendly format.
There are a few bugs that we are currently aware of:
- Browser Crashes
- If your browser crashes, it's probably because you're trying to view too many earthquakes. See our disclaimers for tips on how to avoid crashing a resource strapped device.
- Box Zoom
- If you are using the box zoom tool in IE10, the crosshair cursor will remain after zooming until you click again.
Please report any other problems that you experience, click here
We support the two most recent versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. As soon as a new version is released, we drop support of the third oldest version and work on supporting the newest stable release. If you are having problems with the earthquake map, upgrading your browser to the most current version may resolve the issue.
Supported & Tested
* Internet Explorer is only tested in standards mode; compatibility view is not supported. If your browser has rendered the application in compatibility view, you will need to disable this setting.
Android users, we recommend using the Chrome browser or Firefox browser app in place of the default native browser on your android device.
Supported & Tested
- Android Native Browser
- Chrome Browser App for Android
- Firefox Browser App for Android
- Safari iOS
- BlackBerry Native Browser
- Opera Mini