National Hazard Maps
Earthquakes cause an estimated annualized loss to the U.S. of several billions of dollars. To mitigate earthquake losses, it is necessary to evaluate the earthquake hazards across the country. The seismic hazard maps address this need by integrating what scientists have learned about earthquake sources, crustal deformation, active faulting, and ground shaking. This information is translated into a form that can be used to reduce the risk from earthquakes and to improve public safety. The resulting seismic hazard maps are improved and updated on a periodic basis by incorporating new information. The USGS maps are the basis for seismic provisions in building codes and for risk models used in insurance rate structures. An integral part of this project is a database describing Quaternary faults and digital maps of those faults for the U.S. and its territories.