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It's morning and I sit down at my workstation to check email. There are three messages from authors in Europe, Japan and the west coast asking what has happened to their manuscripts. They sent them in X (3, 6, 8) months ago and haven't heard a thing about their editorial fate. I go to my department mailbox and find an equal number of faxes from authors elsewhere in the world asking the same questions. Dutifully, I check the files of the BSSA to find out which associate editor is handling the paper and forward the messages accordingly. Sometimes I shock myself by finding out that the paper in question is one that I am handling. I find one review is in the me but we are waiting for the second.

Later, a new paper arrives in the mail. I decide to handle it myself. Choosing...

Seismological Research Letters July 01, 1995, Vol.66, 3. doi:


For residents of Northridge and other towns lining the San Andreas fault from Mexico to Mendocino, finding words to express their disapproval of recent earth-shaking events might not come easily. It might help such as these to go directly to Will Shakespeare.

We don't know whether the Bard ever experienced an earthquake himself. Still, he had no problem describing one when he wanted to punch up a scene. For instance, in Pericles, Prince of Tyre (Act III, Scene 2), a gentleman from Ephesus offers this vivid report: “... Our lodgings, standing bleak upon the sea, shook as the earth did quake; the very principals did seem to rend, and all to topple. Pure surprise and fear,” he concludes, “made me to quit the house.”

Since no major earthquakes were recorded in Europe during Elizabethan times, how cometh it that The Bard's characters could describe seismic events so graphically?

Seismological Research Letters July 01, 1995, Vol.66, 4-6. doi:

News & Notes


In late June the subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee that oversees the Department of the Interior met—with serious consequences for university research in seismology.

The committee voted to reduce funding to the U.S. Geological Survey NERHP program by 8.7 million. The decision included language that protected everything but funding for the external grants program, which provides funding to university researchers. This action would reduce funding to USGS's NEHRP program by 15% and would completely eliminate funding to the external grants program.

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies was expected to take up USGS appropriations at the end of July. If you have views on this matter you may wish to contact your Senators.

SSA members who volunteered for SSA's Government Affairs Action Initiative received a notification of the action and information on the Senate Committees from Terry Wallace, Chair of...

Seismological Research Letters July 01, 1995, Vol.66, 7. doi:


The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been publishing probabilistic seismic hazard maps for the United States since 1976 (e.g., Algermissen and Perkins, 1976; Algermissen et al., 1990). We are preparing new national maps for the 1997 edition of the NEHRP Recommended Provisions for the Development of Seismic Regulations for New Buildings, published by the Building Seismic Safety Council (NEHRP stands for National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program). The USGS hazard maps are to be the basis for design value maps for buildings to be included in the Provisions. We are conducting a series of regional workshops to discuss the methodology and input to the maps. As of this writing, workshops have been held in the Pacific Northwest, the northeastern U.S., and northern California. We intend to make maps showing ground motions with 10% probability of exceedance (PE) in 50, 100, and 250 years. These correspond to return times of 475,...

Seismological Research Letters July 01, 1995, Vol.66, 8-21. doi:


The Kobe, Japan, earthquake of January 17, 1995 provided a harsh reminder of the very destructive nature of strong ground motions. Peak ground velocities recorded during this event rival those recorded in any other earthquake. In this report, I have modeled these ground motions, in addition to the teleseismic body waveforms, to determine the overall dislocation pattern on the fault surface. The model provided herein is a working model for ongoing seismological studies and for an initial assessment of the relationship between damage and fault slip. This model is preliminary and will be updated as geodetic data and additional strong motion data become available.


Strong motion data from the Kobe earthquake were provided in digital form by JMA, the Japan Meteorological Agency, and CEORKA, the Committee of Earthquake Observation and Research in the Kansai Area (Toki et al., 1995). I scanned and digitized additional data provided...

Seismological Research Letters July 01, 1995, Vol.66, 22-28. doi:


The Council of the National Seismic System (CNSS) is a union of U.S. institutions and agencies engaged in the sustained operation of national, regional, and local seismic networks (both seismographic and strong motion). The Council was formed in February 1993 following an organizational meeting sponsored by the USGS—which in turn was the culmination of a series of meetings dating from a milestone workshop (referred to as “Alta II”) at Alta, Utah, in June 1991 at which representatives of regional seismic networks from throughout the U.S. agreed to form a national consortium. The Council currently consists of 27 member institutions and agencies, each with a designated voting representative and alternate. The USGS, which serves both as steward and Secretariat of the Council, has four voting representatives—two representing the Survey's regional networks, one representing the National Seismograph Network, and one at-large member.

Purpose of CNSS

The most important purpose of the...

Seismological Research Letters July 01, 1995, Vol.66, 29-30. doi:
Seismological Research Letters July 01, 1995, Vol.66, 44-61. doi:

This report includes hypocenters for seismic events that occurred in September and October 1994 as published in the Preliminary Determination of Epicenters (PDE) Monthly Listing, U.S. Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center. It is limited to three types of events: (1) earthquakes with a magnitude of 6 or more, (2) earthquakes causing substantial damage, and (3) events of special interest.

Time is given in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), unless otherwise specified. Latitude and longitude are given to hundredths of a degree for all locations except for events at the Nevada Test Site, which are given to hundredths of a second of arc. Depths constrained to “normal” (33 km) or other assigned depths are indicated by “constrained.” Those made to agree with depth phases are marked “depth phases.” Reports followed by (GS) are taken from the PDE Monthly Listing. All reported intensities correspond to the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale or other...

Seismological Research Letters July 01, 1995, Vol.66, 63-67. doi:


The 90th annual meeting of the SSA was hosted by the Department of Geological Science at the University of Texas at El Paso. Diane Doser served as the meeting chairperson, and the Technical Program Committee consisted of Richard Aster (New Mexico Tech), Susan Beck (University of Arizona), Hans Hartse (Los Alamos National Laboratory), Tom Hearn (New Mexico State University), Leigh House (Los Alamos National Laboratory), G. Randy Keller (University of Texas at El Paso), Kate Miller (University of Texas at El Paso), and Terry Wallace (University of Arizona). Compared to other recent meetings, this year's attendance was somewhat smaller (about 240 registrants and 150 abstracts submitted) than previous meetings in Pasadena or Santa Fe when the IRIS workshop was held in conjunction with the SSA annual meeting. This year's entire meeting was comfortably accommodated within the student union building at the University of Texas at El Paso campus. Posters, coffee...

Seismological Research Letters July 01, 1995, Vol.66, 31-32. doi:



In previous columns under this heading I have covered some fundamental attributes of the Internet and how to use it for obtaining information of interest to seismologists. In this issue we leave the Internet for a while to take a look at a new computer program I have found quite exciting. Jonathan Lees of Yale University has been developing a GIS type of interactive display program for geological and geophysical data, which seems to fall into a niche between conventional 2-D commercial GIS programs and expensive, general purpose, 3-D display and rendering systems. This program, called “Xmap8,” is designed with a seismologist's needs in mind. Similar to the mapping program GMT or the waveform display program SAC, Xmap8 is being actively distributed to the seismological community and feedback from users has been incorporated into it. While it is far from a commercial “shrink-wrapped” product and still has some rough...

Seismological Research Letters July 01, 1995, Vol.66, 33-37. doi:


Preliminary Reconnaissance Report of the 1995 Hyogoken-Nanbu Earthquake—English Edition, by the Architectural Institute of Japan (AIJ)

On January 17, 1995, the Hanshin-Awaji earthquake wreaked havoc throughout the Kobe area, destroying or damaging a large percentage of the built infrastructure. Over 5,300 persons were killed by this earthquake and more than 26,000 were injured. More than 107,000 buildings and homes were destroyed or damaged beyond repair, rendering more than 300,000 people homeless. According to the latest estimates at the time of writing, the direct cost of damage is estimated to be at least fifteen trillion yen. Indirect costs will likely be even far greater. These figures could make the Great Hanshin earthquake the most costly natural disaster in recorded history.

Immediately following this earthquake, the Architecture Institute of Japan (AIJ) quickly assembled and coordinated a large reconnaissance team of 110 engineers and architect, to comprehensively survey all communities reported to have...

Seismological Research Letters July 01, 1995, Vol.66, 38-42. doi:



Eastern Tennessee contains a 300 km long, concentrated zone of seismicity that has been recognized through continuous network operation by TVA and the University of Memphis. The problem faced by TVA is that its critical facilities are located within the eastern Tennessee seismic zone. The maximum magnitude potential of the zone is unknown, and the seismic hazard posed by future shocks in the area is not quantified accurately.

The earthquake data set of almost 20 years is just becoming adequate to investigate the geological causes of the seismicity in the region and evaluate the seismic hazard in this seismically active area. Unfortunately, TVA shut down its network at the end of March. This shut down not only ended the operation the TVA stations themselves, it also severed communication links between the University of Memphis and their stations operating in eastern Tennessee. At present, no station...

Seismological Research Letters July 01, 1995, Vol.66, 43. doi:


AUGUST, 1995

August 5–12 The International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Oceans: XXI General Assembly

Honolulu, HI. (D.S. Luther, Dept. of Oceanography, MSB 307, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 1000 Pope Road, Honolulu, HI 96822. Phone 808-956-5875, fax 808-956-9165, e-mail

August 10–12 Fourth U.S. Conference on Lifeline Earthquake Engineering

San Francisco. (Jodi Brill, ASCE. Fax 212-705-7975.)


September 13–15 Deformation-enhanced Melt Segregation and Metamorphic Fluid Transport

Edinburgh Scotland. Sponsored by Mineralogical Society, Geological Society of London. (M. Holness, Dept. Geology and Geophysics, University of Edinburgh, West Mains Road, Edinburgh E119 3JW Scotland. Phone 031-650-8544, fax 031-668-3184. e-mail


October 1–5 American Institute of Professional Geologists 1995 Annual Meeting—Prosperity and Professional Geology

Denver, CO. (Conference Associates, 1776 Lincoln Street, Suite 620, Denver, CO 80203. Phone 303-863-9506; Fax 303-863-9507.)

October 12–13 Seismological Society of America, Eastern Section Annual...

Seismological Research Letters July 01, 1995, Vol.66, 68-69. doi:
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