Earthquake Hazard in New England

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Science  14 Jan 1977:
Vol. 195, Issue 4274, pp. 171-173
DOI: 10.1126/science.195.4274.171


The earthquake return periods (the mean interoccurrence time) and the probability of earthquake occurrences for southern New England are calculated from the available seismic data for the period 1725 through 1974. For this region the occurrence of larger earthquakes varied with time and the seismic activity was higher in the period 1725 through 1824 than in the next 100 years (1825 through 1924). This variation introduces large uncertainties into calculations of the earthquake hazard. The estimated return period, based on data covering the time period 1725 through 1974, for earthquakes in the southern New England area of intensity VI or greater is 25 years and for intensity VIII or greater is 130 years.