How are structures designed to withstand earthquakes?

To design structures that can withstand earthquakes, engineers must understand the stresses caused by shaking. To this end, scientists and engineers place instruments in structures and nearby on the ground to measure how the structures respond during an earthquake to the motion of the ground beneath. Every time a strong earthquake occurs, the new information gathered enables engineers to refine and improve structural designs and building codes.

What are the chances an earthquake could hit your favorite locations? Make a One-Step Earthquake Forecast here.
To see locations of current major earthquakes, go the Hazards Viewer and click on one of the Earth globes on the right hand side.
Risk Alert