Seismic hazard assessment in the central United States, and in particular the Wabash Valley seismic zone of Indiana-Illinois, frequently relies on empirical estimates of paleoearthquake magnitudes (M). In large part these estimates have been made using the magnitude-bound method. Existing region-specific magnitude-bound relations rely heavily on only a few historical earthquakes in the central United States and eastern Canada that induced reported liquefaction features. Recent seismological studies have suggested smaller magnitudes than previously presumed for some of these earthquakes, however, and other studies have reinterpreted site-to-source distances to liquefaction features associated with some of these earthquakes. In this paper, we re-examine historical earthquakes (M > ∼5) that occurred in the central and eastern United States and eastern Canada; some of these earthquakes triggered liquefaction and others did not. Based on our findings, we reinterpret the region-specific magnitude-bound relation for the Wabash Valley. Using this revised magnitude-bound relation, we present magnitude estimates for four prehistoric earthquakes that occurred in the Wabash Valley seismic zone during Holocene time.

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