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Hazards in Hawai`i
Engineers, seismologists, architects, and planners have carefully evaluated seismic hazards related to building construction. They have devised a system of classifying seismic hazards on the basis of the expected strength of ground shaking and the probability of the shaking actually occurring within a specified time. The results are included in the Uniform Building Code (UBC) seismic provisions.
The UBC seismic provisions contain six seismic zones, ranging from 0 (no chance of severe ground shaking) to 4 (10% chance of severe shaking in a 50-year interval). The shaking is quantified in terms of g-force (familiar to race car drivers and astronauts), the earth's gravitational acceleration. The diagram below is a way of describing seismic zonation.
Zonation Based on General PrinciplesIn 1992, the USGS was asked to reevaluate the seismic hazards in Hawai`i County. A probabilistic seismic-hazards assessment was carried out according to previously established procedures.
Seismic-hazards analysis combines:
For an overview of seismic hazards in Hawai`i, see the online USGS publication, Volcanic and Seismic Hazards on the Island of Hawai`i, reprinted in 1997.
Updated: 18 June 2001 (pnf)