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TitleAssessment of seismic hazards in British Columbia's north coast region (2013-2018)
LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorBrillon, C; Cassidy, J FORCID logo; Nykolaishen, L; Allen, T I; Bednarski, J M; Greene, P; Bobrowsky, P TORCID logo; Huntley, D HORCID logo
SourceGeological Survey of Canada, Open File 8461, 2018, 19 pages, Open Access logo Open Access
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Documentopen file
Mediaon-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceBritish Columbia
NTS93D; 93E; 93L; 103A; 103B/01; 103B/02; 103B/07; 103B/08; 103B/09; 103B/10; 103B/15; 103B/16; 103G/01; 103G/02; 103G/07; 103G/08; 103G/09; 103G/10; 103G/15; 103G/16; 103H; 103I; 103J/01; 103J/02; 103J/07; 103J/08; 103J/09; 103J/10; 103J/15; 103J/16
AreaKitimat; Douglas Channel
Lat/Long WENS-131.0000 -126.0000 55.0000 52.0000
Subjectsgeophysics; tectonics; surficial geology/geomorphology; engineering geology; marine geology; seismic risk; seismicity; earthquakes; earthquake magnitudes; seismology; seismological network; seismographs; tectonic environments; displacement; geodesy; satellite geodesy; remote sensing; radar methods; crustal studies; crustal movements; crustal structure; strain analysis; modelling; building codes; bedrock geology; structural features; faults; shear zones; landslides; slope failures; geological history; Canadian National Seismograph Network; 2012 MW 7.8 Haida Gwaii earthquake; Kitasoo Hill; Milbanke Sound Cones; Principe-Laredo Fault; Sandspit Fault; Cascadia Subduction Zone; Grenville Channel Shear Zone; Kitkatla Shear Zone; Coast Mountain Shear Zone; Principe-Laredo Shear Zone; Infrastructures; glaciomarine sediments; monitoring; Tsunamis
Illustrationslocation maps; geoscientific sketch maps; tables; 3-D images; photographs; satellite images; seismograms; spectra; plots; time series
ProgramPublic Safety Geoscience Assessing Earthquake Geohazards
Released2018 12 11
AbstractBritish Columbia's north coast (BCNC) has been the location of a number of development proposals over the last decade. As such, it has the potential to experience significant industrial, and consequently, economic and population growth. Negative impacts of geohazards, such as earthquakes and slope failures, and their secondary effects such as tsunamis could be detrimental to the region. Due to the historically low frequency of damaging geohazards in the BCNC, until 2013 there had been minimal research to understand them beyond the national-scale level. In 2013, Natural Resources Canada initiated a regional geohazard assessment, including marine and terrestrial-based research activities within BC's North Coast. The terrestrial-based component of the assessment specifically aimed to achieve a more detailed comprehension of active faulting, earthquake recurrence relationships, and strain accumulation patterns in the BCNC, necessary to improve seismic hazard models for use in the National Building Code of Canada. Through a multidisciplinary approach, including the deployment and monitoring of data from 7 new seismographs, it was confirmed that the regional seismicity pattern was, in general, being captured by the exisiting Canadian National Seismograph Network. However, the additional seismographs allowed for microseismicity patterns in the BCNC to be mapped in more detail. Displacements recorded on 8 new GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) stations show that the BCNC was, and is still (as of mid-2018) affected by the the 2012 MW 7.8 Haida Gwaii earthquake more than 150 km to the west. Over the course of this project a seismic microzonation study was conducted in the town of Kitimat, the town at the most inland extent of the Douglas Channel. Results of this study show that the geology underlying Kitimat is complex with a number of deep channels filled with soft, glaciomarine sediments, which are prone to amplification of up to approximately four times. Although this project was formally completed in March 2018, seismic, GNSS and InSAR monitoring will continue for a number of years to allow for a more detailed understanding of seismicity and crustal strain in the region. This, in turn, will allow for improved seismic hazard models with applications to building codes, engineering design, and decision-making.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
In 2013, Natural Resources Canada initiated a regional geohazard assessment, comprised of land-and-marine-based research activities, in British Columbia's north coast. The land-based component of the assessment (discussed in this report) intended to achieve a more detailed understanding of the locations and magnitudes of earthquakes, and the possibility of a significant earthquake happening in the region. Through a multidisciplinary approach it was confirmed that the regional seismic hazard of British Columbia's north coast region is, in general, being adequately represented in Canada's seismic hazard model. Earthquake monitoring instruments installed as part of this project will continue recording for up to ten years, which will provide additional information about the region's seismic hazard. Results from this study will allow for improved regional seismic hazard models with applications to building codes, engineering design, and decision-making.

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