Geologic Hazards Related to Earthquakes


  • Activity: Geologic Hazards Related to Earthquakes
  • Earthquake Induced Geologic Hazards (Appendix B)
  • Hazard Inventory Checklist (Appendix C)
  • Hazard Inventory Worksheet (Appendix D)
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Identifying geologic hazards in your community


Strong ground shaking from seismic waves can trigger geologic hazards that critically impact communities and public safety including liquefaction, ground shaking amplification, landslides, and tsunamis. Three learning options provide hands-on activities to understand earthquake-generated geologic hazards. A 5-minute demonstration reveals how liquefaction can cause buildings to tip. In the 15-minute hands-on option, learners explore liquefaction and landslides using cups of sand, water-saturated sand, and slopes of gravel.  In the 45-minute activity, learners complete a hazard inventory for their own or another community by applying their understanding of geologic hazards and geologic hazard maps. Hazards and risks are assessed, strengths and vulnerabilities of essential services and infrastructure are identified using maps, and an action plan is developed to address these risks.

Why is it important to learn about earthquakes and their effects, like tsunamis? More than 143 million people are exposed to potential earthquake hazards in the U.S. that could cost thousands of lives and billions of dollars in damage. An understanding of earthquakes and their potential to cause additional significant geologic hazards is fundamental to earthquake preparedness and mitigation. An important tool for preparedness is the ShakeAlert® Earthquake Early Warning system for the West Coast of the U.S. which detects significant earthquakes quickly so that alerts can be delivered to people and automated systems.


  • Explain the difference between a geologic hazard and a risk.
  • Identify types of seismic-related geologic hazards.
  • Describe which earthquake-related hazards present a risk to a specific community.
  • Inventory critical community structures and infrastructure