Top Earthquake States
States with the most Quakes
- Remember that earthquakes centered in one State may produce damage in another.
- This list does not reflect the extent to which earthquake activity might be concentrated in a few small areas of the State or spread throughout the State.
- This list does not show how earthquakes are distributed with respect to the population of the State.
- This list does not account for how earthquake waves are attenuated as they travel away from the earthquake epicenter. This attenuation affects the area over which an earthquake will cause damage or be felt. Attenuation is different in different parts of the United States.
- Some important earthquake source regions are distributed among several States. For example, the New Madrid Seismic Zone source region is "shared" between southeastern Missouri, southern Illinois, western Kentucky, western Tennessee, and northeastern Arkansas. If the New Madrid Seismic Zone activity were concentrated in one State, that State would be ranked number 11 on the list with 40 earthquakes.
- The distribution of earthquakes varies with time. Selecting earthquakes from a different 30-year interval would likely produce some changes in the ranking of the States.
The number of earthquakes is under reported, even though Alaska
already accounts for more than 50 percent of all US earthquakes! Events
the magnitude range of 3.5 to 4.0 in the Aleutian Islands are not
on enough seismograph stations to be located.
2Hawaii: The earthquake count was obtained from the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO). Hawaii and Nevada are essentially tied in the rates of earthquakes of magnitude 5.0 and greater.
Earthquakes, Magnitude 3.5 and Greater, 1974 - 2003
The state ranking is based on data from an earthquake search from the USGS PDE catalog (Hawaii from HVO), with a date range of 1974 to 2003, and a magnitude range of 3.5 and greater. The following table shows the results of the search. See the maps that display the data. In the case of a tie, States are listed in alphabetical order.
The National Seismic Hazard Mapping Project prepares maps that give a representation of the seismic hazard across the United States.
|11.||New Mexico||38||0.2 %|