III.1 Tectonic Movements and Earthquake Hazard Predictions

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Chuck Meertens

Elisha F. H. Allgood

Michael W. Hamburger

Lou Estey

Scientists from the UNAVCO Consortium in Boulder, Colorado, and at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, created Jules Verne Voyager, a precision interactive map tool. This tool allows users to create “maps on demand” using wide ranges of base maps, geophysical overlays, and geographical information. Created by geophysicists Michael W. Hamburger and Charles Meertens, and graphic designer Elisha F. Hardy, the seismic hazard map shown here was derived from the International Lithosphere Program and the Global Seismic Hazard Assessment Program. It uses a model built from historical seismicity catalogs and geologic and geodetic data to predict the frequency, location, and magnitude of earthquakes. Seismic hazard is represented in probabilistic fashion, as the peak ground acceleration (in meters/second²) with a 10% chance of exceedance in a 50-year period. The inset maps along the bottom show the topographic, seismologic, volcanic, and tectonic data for several of the major seismically active plate boundaries that comprise the “Ring of Fire” surrounding Asia, Europe, North and South America, and the western Pacific. Arrows indicate the inferred direction of motion of the Earth’s crust with respect to an arbitrarily “fixed” plate at the center of each map. Find out more about this interactive map tool at http://jules.unavco.org.


UNAVCO Facility. 2010. Jules Map Server Home Page. Accessed February 5, 2010. http://jules.unavco.org.

Hamburger, Michael W., Charles Meertens, and Elisha F. Hardy. 2007. Tectonic Movements and Earthquake Hazard Predictions. Courtesy of Indiana University and UNAVCO Consortium. In “3rd Iteration (2007): The Power of Forecasts,” Places & Spaces: Mapping Science, edited by Katy Börner and Julie M. Davis. http://scimaps.org.

Acknowledgements: This exhibit is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. IIS-0238261, CHE-0524661, IIS-0534909 and IIS-0715303, the James S. McDonnell Foundation; Thomson Reuters; the Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center, University Information Technology Services, and the School of Library and Information Science, all three at Indiana University. Some of the data used to generate the science maps is from the Web of Science by Thomson Reuters and Scopus by Elsevier. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.