USA Seismic Zones Map

Explore Seismic Zones Map of USA, in the field of seismology, a seismic zone or seismic belt refers to a region with potential seismic activity that may share a common cause. It can also be an area on a map defined to have a uniform rate of seismic activity. This rate is used to estimate the likelihood of ground movements in that area. An older definition, now not commonly used, describes a seismic zone as a region on a map where a specific standard for seismic design is mandatory. One specific kind of seismic zone is the Wadati–Benioff zone. This zone is associated with the descending slab in a subduction zone, where one tectonic plate moves under another.

USA Seismic Zones Map

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Explore US earthquake zones map to see most and least hazardous parts of United States of America.

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List of Earthquakes in the USA

This is a list of significant earthquakes and tsunamis that had their epicenters in areas that are now part of the United States. The list also includes those events that impacted U.S. regions. The events listed in italics occurred in regions that were not part of the United States at the time of the event.

Earthquakes in United States

June 11, 1585Aleutian Islands, AlaskaUnknown9.2 Mw
January 26, 1700Washington, Oregon, CaliforniaUnknown8.7-9.2 Mw
November 18, 1755Massachusetts05.9 Mw
July 21, 1788AlaskaUnknown8.0 Ms
August 6, 1788AlaskaUnknown8.0 Ms
December 16, 1811Missouri100−5007.5-8.0 Mw
December 8, 1812California40+6.9 Mla, 7.5 Mw
December 12, 1812California17.1-7.5 Mw
June 2, 1823Hawaii07.0 ML
June 1838California06.8-7.2 Mw
January 5, 1843Arkansas06.3 Mw
January 9, 1857California27.9 Mw
April 24, 1867Kansas05.1 Mfa
April 2, 1868Hawaii777.9 Mfa
October 21, 1868California306.3-6.7 ML
February 20, 1871Hawaii06.8 ML
March 26, 1872California277.4-7.9 Mw
December 14, 1872Washington06.5-7.0 Mw
November 23, 1873California-Oregon07.3 ML
October 26, 1880Alaska07.0 Ms
August 10, 1884New York24.9-5.5 Mfa
August 31, 1886South Carolina606.9-7.3 Mw
April 19, 1892California16.4 ML
April 21, 1892California06.4 ML
October 31, 1895Missouri06.6 ML
September 4, 1899Alaska08.2 Ms
September 10, 1899Alaska08.2 Mw
December 25, 1899California66.4 Ms
October 9, 1900Alaska07.9 Mw
November 14, 1901Utah07.0 Mw
December 31, 1901Alaska07.8 Ms
January 1, 1902Alaska07.8 M
August 27, 1904Alaska07.3 Ms
April 18, 1906California3,000+7.9 Mw
August 17, 1906Alaska08.4 Mw
September 27, 1909Indiana05.1 Mfa
June 23, 1915California66.2 M
October 3, 1915Nevada06.8 Mw
April 21, 1918California06.8 M
September 29, 1921Utah06.3 Mw
January 31, 1922California07.6 MGR
January 22, 1923California07.2 MGR
June 28, 1925Montana06.6 Mw
June 29, 1925California136.5-6.8 Mw
October 24, 1927Alaska07.3 Mw
November 4, 1927California07.3 Mw
March 7, 1929Alaska07.8 Mw
August 16, 1931Texas06.5 Mw
December 21, 1932Nevada07.2 Mw
March 10, 1933California1206.4 Mw
December 31, 1934California07.1 M
March 12, 1934Utah26.6 Mw
October 18, 1935Montana46.2 Ms
July 15, 1936Oregon, Washington05.8 ML
July 22, 1937Alaska07.3 Ms
November 10, 1938Alaska08.2 Mw
May 18, 1940California96.9 Mw
December 20, 1940New Hampshire05.3 Mw
December 24, 1940New Hampshire05.5 Mw
November 3, 1943Alaska07.6 Mw
September 5, 1944New York05.8 Mw
April 1, 1946Alaska1658.6 Mw
October 16, 1947Alaska07.2 Mw
December 4, 1948California06.4 Mw
April 13, 1949Washington86.7 Mw
July 21, 1952California147.3 Mw
July 6, 1954Nevada06.6 Mw
August 24, 1954Nevada06.8 Mw
December 16, 1954Nevada07.1 Mw
December 16, 1954Nevada06.8 Mw
March 9, 1957Alaska08.6 Mw
April 7, 1958Alaska07.3 Mw
July 9, 1958Alaska5 (tsunami)7.8 Mw
August 18, 1959Montana, Wyoming, Idaho28+7.2 Mw
March 27, 1964Alaska1439.2 Mw
February 4, 1965Alaska08.7 Mw
April 29, 1965Washington76.7 Mw
July 2, 1965Alaska07.8 Mw
August 9, 1967Colorado05
November 26, 1967Colorado05
April 8, 1968California06.6 Mw
November 9, 1968Illinois05.4 mb
October 2, 1969California15.6, 5.7 ML
February 9, 1971California58-656.5-6.7 Mw
July 30, 1972Alaska07.6 Mw
February 2, 1975Alaska07.6 Ms
November 29, 1975Hawaii27.7 Mw
November 8, 1980California57.2 Mw
May 2, 1983California06.5 Mw
November 16, 1983Hawaii06.7 Mw
October 28, 1983Idaho27.3 Mw
April 24, 1984California06.2 Mw
May 7, 1986Alaska08.0 Mw
July 8, 1986California06.0 Mw
July 21, 1986California06.4 ML
October 1, 1987California85.9 Mw
November 23, 1987California06.2 Ms
November 24, 1987California26.6 Mw
November 30, 1987Alaska07.9 Mw
March 6, 1988Alaska07.8 Mw
October 17, 1989California636.9 Mw
September 4, 1989Alaska07.1 Mw
May 30, 1991Alaska07.0 Mw
June 28, 1991California25.6 Mw
August 17, 1991Oregon07.0 Mh
April 23, 1992California06.3 Ms
April 25-26, 1992California06.5-7.2 Mw
June 28, 1992California37.3 Mw
June 28, 1992California06.5 Mw
September 2, 1992Utah05.8 ML
March 25, 1993Oregon05.6 Md
September 20, 1993Oregon26.0 Md
January 17, 1994California576.7 Mw
September 1, 1994California07.0 Mw
April 14, 1995Texas05.7 Mw
June 10, 1996Alaska07.9 Mwc
September 25, 1998Pennsylvania05.2 mbLg
October 16, 1999California07.1 Mw
December 6, 1999Alaska07.0 Mw
January 10, 2001Alaska07.0 Mw
February 28, 2001Washington16.8 Md
November 3, 2002Alaska07.9 Mw
November 17, 2003Alaska07.8 Mwc
December 22, 2003California26.5 Mw
June 15, 2005California07.2 Mwc
September 10, 2006Florida05.9 Mwc
October 15, 2006Hawaii06.7 Md
October 30, 2007California05.5 Mw
February 21, 2008Nevada05.9 Mw
April 18, 2008Illinois05.2 Mw
July 29, 2008California05.4 Mw
January 9, 2010California06.5 Mw
April 4, 2010California07.2 Mw
August 22, 2011Colorado05.3 Mwr
August 23, 2011Virginia05.8 Mw
November 5, 2011Oklahoma05.7 Mww
January 5, 2013Alaska07.5 Mw
March 29, 2014California05.1 Mw
June 23, 2014Alaska07.9 Mww
July 25, 2014Alaska06.0 Mw
August 24, 2014California16.0 Mw
January 24, 2016Alaska07.1 Mw
September 3, 2016Oklahoma05.8 Mww
January 23, 2018Alaska07.9 Mww
May 4, 2018Hawaii06.9 Mww
November 30, 2018Alaska07.1 Mww
July 4, 2019California16.4 Mw
July 5, 2019California07.1 Mw
March 18, 2020Utah05.7 Mw
March 31, 2020Idaho06.5 Mww
May 15, 2020Nevada06.5 ML
July 22, 2020Alaska07.8 Mw
August 9, 2020North Carolina05.1 Mw
October 19, 2020Alaska07.6 Mww
July 29, 2021Alaska08.2 Mw
December 20, 2022California26.4 Mw

Here is a list of earthquake swarms and significant earthquakes that impacted the United States, including those with epicenters outside U.S. borders and tsunamis affecting the U.S.:

Earthquake Swarms in the United States:

Earthquakes Impacting the United States with Epicenters Outside its Borders:

Amouraska earthquake – A magnitude 6.2 earthquake, causing no injuries or fatalities.

Earthquakes Not Directly Affecting the United States but Causing Tsunamis That Did:

5 earthquake, causing between 2200 and 6000 fatalities, including 61 in Hilo, Hawaii.

Strongest Earthquakes by States and Territories of U.S.

18 October 1916Alabama5.1 ML
27 March 1964Alaska9
26 June 1917American Samoa8.3-8.5
3 May 1887Arizona8
16 December 1811Arkansas7.6-7.9
9 January 1857California8
8 November 1882Colorado7
16 May 1791Connecticut4.4-5.0 Ms
30 November 2017Delaware4.1 ML
23 August 2011District of Columbia6
12 January 1879Florida4
5 March 1914Georgia (U.S. state)5
22 September 1902Guam8
2 April 1868Hawaii8
28 October 1983Idaho7
9 November 1968Illinois5
27 September 1909Indiana5
12 November 1934Iowa5.0-5.1
24 April 1867Kansas5
16 December 1811Kentucky7.6-7.9
19 October 1930Louisiana4.2 ML
21 March 1904Maine6
23 August 2011Maryland6
18 November 1755Massachusetts6
10 August 1947Michigan4.6 ML
9 July 1975Minnesota4.6 ML
16 December 1811Mississippi7.6-7.9
16 December 1811Missouri7.6-7.9
17 August 1959Montana7
15 November 1877Nebraska7
16 December 1954Nevada7
1 June 1638New Hampshire7
29 November 1783New Jersey5
15 November 1906New Mexico6
5 September 1944New York6
21 February 1916North Carolina5
8 July 1968North Dakota4
9 March 1937Ohio5
3 September 2016Oklahoma6
26 January 1700Oregon8.7-9.2
25 September 1998Pennsylvania5
2 May 1787Puerto Rico8.0-8.3
10 June 1951Rhode Island5
31 August 1886South Carolina6.9-7.3
2 June 1911South Dakota5
16 December 1811Tennessee7.6-7.9
16 August 1931Texas7
13 November 1901Utah7
18 November 1867U.S. Virgin Islands8
31 March 1953Vermont4
23 August 2011Virginia6
26 January 1700Washington (state)8.7-9.2
23 August 2011West Virginia6
6 May 1947Wisconsinunk.
17 August 1959Wyoming7

Earthquake Zones in the United States

Earthquake zones in the United States are areas where seismic activity is more likely to occur due to the underlying geology and fault lines. Understanding these zones is crucial for preparedness and building infrastructure that can withstand potential earthquakes.

The most well-known earthquake zone in the U.S. is the Pacific Ring of Fire, which affects the West Coast, including California, Washington, and Oregon. This region is particularly active because it's where the Pacific Plate meets other major tectonic plates. California's San Andreas Fault is a notable feature of this zone, capable of producing significant seismic activity.

Beyond the West Coast, the Central United States also has an earthquake zone known as the New Madrid Seismic Zone. Centered in southeastern Missouri, northeastern Arkansas, western Tennessee, western Kentucky, and southern Illinois, this zone has the potential for producing large earthquakes despite its location away from the edge of a tectonic plate.

Alaska, part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, is the most seismically active state in the U.S. It experiences thousands of earthquakes each year, some of which are powerful enough to cause damage. The Aleutian Islands, in particular, are a hotspot for seismic activity.

Hawaii, while known for its volcanic activity, also experiences earthquakes. These quakes are related to volcanic processes and the movement of the Pacific Plate.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) monitors earthquake activity across the country, providing valuable data for emergency preparedness and helping to inform building codes in seismic zones. Understanding where these zones are and the type of activity they might produce is essential for minimizing risk and ensuring the safety of communities.

Living in or near an earthquake zone means being aware of the risks and taking steps to prepare, such as securing heavy furniture, creating an emergency plan, and building structures to resist seismic forces. Awareness and preparedness can significantly reduce the impact of earthquakes on lives and property.

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