No matter where you are in North America, you face some sort of environmental or geologic risk. Volcanoes, quakes, tornadoes, and even terrible blizzards are a fact of life. If you have property and want to build structures, you need to get a seismic survey done to ensure you know what risks those structures will face. Even if you don't think you're in a quake zone, you could be wrong; witness the small 2012 quake in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where you wouldn't think a quake would hit.
Don't Government Agencies Already Know Where the Quake Faults Are?
They know where many are. New faults are regularly discovered, and new information about known faults increases or decreases the predicted risk of a quake. A geophysical survey that includes seismic information helps locate potential faults on your property.
Do Certain Land Forms Offer Any Protection?
You likely know about liquefaction if you grew up in a quake zone, where loose soil called alluvial soil can act like a liquid during quakes, resulting in heavy damage. If your property has more of a rock base, you might not see as much damage (though that's not a guarantee as each quake is so different in its details that it's impossible to predict totally what will happen).
If you happen to have mountains between you and the nearest quake zone, then you might see some reduction in shaking. For example, the New Madrid quakes in Missouri in 1811 and 1812 were felt as far away to the east as Quebec and South Carolina -- not many very tall, rocky mountains in between there. But to the west, no one west of the Rockies felt anything. The crust of the Earth in the eastern and western halves of the continent also handle quake energy differently, resulting in larger or smaller "felt" ranges when a quake hits.
My Property Is Far From a Fault Zone, so Why Should I Get a Seismic Survey?
You may be far from the actual fault, but you can still experience strong shaking should a quake hit. For example, the Easter 2010 quake that occurred near Mexicali, Mexico, caused was centered over 120 miles east of San Diego, California, yet all of San Diego experienced strong shaking. While no one was injured in San Diego and no real structural damage was found, one hotel had to close off some floors due to doors that had become jammed, and other buildings needed structural inspections to confirm they were fine. So you might not be located anywhere near a fault, but structures on your property could still experience issues due to a quake, depending on the type of land involved and what the structures are.
Want to know what your buildings may face? Contact a geophysical survey company, like Initial Exploration Services, and arrange for an evaluation.Share