Engineers should typically use the tools below for seismic design; the parameter values they provide are not typically identical to those from hazard tools available elsewhere on the USGS website.
The USGS collaborates with organizations that develop building codes (for buildings, bridges, and other structures) to make seismic design parameter values available to engineers. The design code developers first decide how USGS earthquake hazard information should be applied in design practice. Then, the USGS calculates values of seismic design parameters based on USGS hazard values and in accordance with design code procedures.
These web services provide seismic design parameter values from numerous design code editions. Your options for using these web services are:
Third-party Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs)
Most users obtain seismic design parameter values from the USGS web services through third-party GUIs like the following:
USGS U.S. Seismic Design Maps Web Services
It is possible, but less convenient, to obtain seismic design parameter values directly from the USGS web services:
- Documentation for all design code editions
- Step-by-step Instructions for AASHTO Guide Specifications
- Step-by-step instructions for ASCE/SEI 7-16 Standard
This web tool calculates risk-targeted ground motion values from probabilistic seismic hazard curves in accordance with the site-specific ground motion procedures defined in “Method 2” (Section 22.214.171.124) of the ASCE/SEI 7-10 and 7-16 standards. The vast majority of engineering projects in the U.S. will require use of the U.S. Seismic Design Maps Web Services (see above) rather than this Risk-Targeted Ground Motion Calculator.