The rise in the number of anthropogenic small- to moderate-magnitude earthquakes in the central United States raises questions about the damageability of the built environment in such events. This study examines the performance of modern light-frame wood buildings, including single, multifamily, and commercial constructions, in earthquakes with moment magnitudes of 3–6, using dynamic analysis of building models subjected to ground motions recorded in past induced events in North America. We focus on first onset of damage, for example, wallboard or wallpaper cracking, and nails popping out. The results show that earthquakes with magnitudes less than 4–4.25 are unlikely to cause damage to modern constructions. However, moderate-magnitude events can cause damage over a wide geographic area (more than 30 mi from the earthquake epicenter, or 40 or more miles from a wastewater injection well). These results can be used to suggest setback distances between injection wells and certain neighborhoods or facilities, and magnitude thresholds for post-earthquake inspections.

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