Estimating Earthquake Sizes in the Basin and Range Province, Western North America: Perspectives Gained from Historical Earthquakes

by C. M. Depolo, Bur of Mines & Geology, United States,
J. W. Bell, Bur of Mines & Geology, United States,
A. R. Ramelli, Bur of Mines & Geology, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1990


Thirty eight historical earthquake from the Basin and Range province were used to examine three aspects of earthquake size and behavior: 1) the maximum background earthquake, 2) earthquake magnitude versus fault parameter regressions, and 3) the nature of primary surface faulting. Twenty three earthquakes ranging in magnitude from 6 to 6.8 had no reported, or secondary with no or minor primary surface ruptures, whereas only two earthquakes in this magnitude range had primary surface ruptures. The historical data indicate the maximum background earthquake for the Basin and Range province is at least magnitude 6.3 and may be as high as 6.8.

Subject Headings: Earthquakes | Basins | Earthquake magnitude scale | Radioactive wastes | Waste disposal | Seismic design | Parameters (statistics) | Regression analysis | North America | Nevada | United States

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