Hoover Dam Earthquakes Reconsidered

by Ronald B. Meade, Virginia Military Inst, Lexington, VA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Waterpower '85


In 1936 and 1937 as the water rose behind Hoover Dam, earthquakes were felt in the Boulder City area and as far away as Las Vegas. Interest in induced seismicity was renewed in 1967 with the damaging earthquake at Koyna Dam in India. The National Academy of Sciences released a publication on reservoir-induced seismicity. A study was funded by the U. S. Geological Survey and another by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. These studies examined alleged cases of reservoir-induced seismicity worldwide, focusing on instances where damaging earthquakes were attributed to reservoir filling. This paper reconsiders Hoover Dam earthquakes in light of the more recent studies. The evidence that the earthquakes were triggered by impoundment is examined using a method developed in the Corps of Engineers' study.

Subject Headings: Earthquakes | Reservoirs | Seismic tests | Arch dams | Seismic effects | Water storage | Historic sites | United States | Las Vegas | Nevada | India | Asia | Colorado

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