Mini-Sosie High-Resolution Seismic Method aids hazards studies



A dramatic example of just how catastrophic earthquake damage can be occurred in 1989, when a nationally televised World Series game in San Francisco was preempted by the M 7.1 Loma Prieta earthquake. The surprising amount and distribution of damage reinforce the importance of seismic-hazard studies in urban areas, where potential for damage and loss of life is greatest. Unfortunately, many large urban centers developed before the advent of seismic-hazard microzonation mapping, ground-response building codes, and standardized air-photo reconnaissance. Decades of building, paving, and utility installation have modified the land surface to the extent that surficial geologic expression of faults and evidence of prehistoric earthquakes are either inaccessible or totally obliterated.