New publication on Wells earthquake


On February 21 at 6:16 a.m. PST, northeastern Nevada was struck by a moment magnitude (Mw) 6.0 earthquake, the largest event in Nevada within the last 42 years, the largest earthquake to occur in the Basin and Range Province in the last 15 years, and the largest earthquake to occur in the conterminous United States in 2008. With support from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the University of Nevada, Reno, the Nevada Earthquake Safety Council, the Nevada Division of Emergency Management, the Nevada Seismological Laboratory, and the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, a collection of papers has been put together on the 2008 Wells earthquake to document the event. Twenty-eight papers are included along with a geologic map of the region surrounding the earthquake fault, a satellite interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) image that shows ground displacement resulting from the earthquake, PowerPoint presentations, and hundreds of photographs of earthquake effects.

The volume covers not only the many scientific aspects of the earthquake such as the geological, geophysical, seismological, and geodetic settings but also the community impact aspects of the earthquake: damage to buildings, houses, and utilities; the emergency response; community recovery; and impact on city government. These papers are further enhanced by numerous photographs and images, and a video made by a local community member. The goal of the volume is to document as many important aspects and lessons of the Wells earthquake as possible, so these can be used by Wells and other towns and cities to better prepare for earthquakes and to design more earthquake-resilient communities. Earthquakes are inevitable in Nevada, but injury, damage, and loss from earthquakes can be greatly minimized with some forethought and preparation. This volume gives insight into the effects of a major earthquake on a Nevada community to aid in these endeavors.

SP36 – The 21 February 2008 Mw 6.0 Wells, Nevada earthquake: A compendium of earthquake-related investigations prepared by the University of Nevada, Reno, edited by Craig M. dePolo and Daphne D. LaPointe, available free on the Web:

SP36d (DVD version) $35.00: 

SP36p (comb-bound paper copy, 507 pages) $62.00:
The paper copy does not include the following:  Appendix A (“Geologic Map of the Wells Area”), Appendix C (“Photograph Gallery”), Appendix E (“Preliminary Earthquake Simulations…”), Appendix F (“Wells Nevada Earthquake…” Teachable Moment PowerPoint).

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