St. Louis Area Earthquake Hazards Mapping Project

Project Overview


In the St. Louis area of Missouri and Illinois the USGS is partnering with a local working group to produce urban earthquake hazard maps for the community.

The project is being led by representatives from the Missouri University of Science and Technology Natural Hazards Mitigation Institute, the Illinois State Geological Survey, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources , the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC) emergency managers, CUSEC State Geologists, CERI at the University of Memphis, and the USGS.

Is there earthquake hazard in the St. Louis region?

The St. Louis area has experienced minor earthquake damage at least 12 times in the past 200 years (PDF).

How does our local geology affect the earthquake hazard maps?

Structures located in the Missouri and Mississippi River floodplains will likely experience stronger ground shaking and a greater likelihood of liquefaction. Bedrock is most commonly a hard 350 million-year-old limestone in the St. Louis area. Structures built on or near bedrock, such as in the upland areas out of the floodplains, will tend to have lower levels of earthquake ground shaking.