Basin & Range Province Committee

The Basin and Range Province Committee (BRPC) seeks to promote the understanding and study of seismic hazards in the Basin and Range Province (BRP) of the western U.S., and to provide advice and recommendations to policy-making bodies regarding seismic hazards and risk in that region.

Next Meeting: TBD

Chair:  Richard Koehler, rkoehlerunr.edu

Background and Activities

The BRPC consists of geoscientists and emergency managers from  Basin-and-Range Province states (Arizona,  Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah).  The BRPC states share common concerns regarding earthquake hazards and risk in the Basin and Range Province (BRP).  Among those concerns are the large number of poorly studied or unstudied potentially active normal-slip faults in the BRP; the close proximity of known active faults to BRP urban centers; long recurrence intervals between damaging BRP earthquakes, leading to complacency on the part of both citizens and policy makers; unknowns regarding BRP fault behavior (earthquake clustering and triggering, multi-segment rupture, stress drops, BRP-specific attenuation relations); and the difficulty of preparing for damaging earthquakes in rural areas lacking adequate resources for planning and emergency response.

Goals pursued by the BRPC include promoting scientific research and emergency management functions in the BRP, establishing post-earthquake technical information clearinghouses, establishing informal cooperative agreements between states for technical assistance in the event of a damaging earthquake anywhere within the BRP, and facilitating information dissemination regarding the latest technical research and emergency response issues in the BRP.

The BRPC has convened two Basin and Range Province Seismic Hazard Summits, the first in 1997 and the second in 2004.  The summits were held in Reno, Nevada, and highlighted current seismic-hazard research in the BRP.  Together the summits resulted in eight draft policy recommendations to the WSSPC Board; the Board subsequently adopted 7 of the recommendations as WSSPC policy statements.

The second BRP Seismic Hazards Summit in May of 2004 was sponsored by WSSPC, USGS, FEMA, and western states geological surveys and brought together geoscientists, engineers, emergency managers and policy makers to present and discuss the latest earthquake hazards research and to evaluate its implications for hazard reduction and public policy.

Summit Proceedings: Basin and Range Province Summit I (22MB)

Summit Proceedings: Basin and Range Province Summit II (107 MB)

The BRPC convened a broadly based Basin and Range Earthquake Working Group I in 2005 to consider technical issues relevant to preparation of the National Seismic-Hazards Maps for the BRP. Recommendations made to the U.S. Geological Survey are contained in Utah Geological Survey Open File Report 477:  Recommendations to the USGS National Seismic Hazard Mapping Program (2006)

The Basin and Range Province Earthquake Working Group II met in 2011 to make consensus recommendations to the U.S. Geological Survey on eight seismic hazard issues in the Basin and Range Province. Their recommendations are contained in the Utah Geological Survey Open-File Report 591: Recommendations to the U.S. Geological Survey National Seismic Hazard Mapping Program for the 2014 Update of the National Seismic Hazard Maps (2012)

The BRPC has modified California’s post-earthquake technical clearinghouse plan to create a generic model plan applicable to all BRP states, and held a clearinghouse workshop in 2001.

Model Post-Earthquake Technical Clearinghouse Plan (PDF)

Model Post-Earthquake Technical Clearinghouse Plan (Word doc)_0102   (Use this format for adapting/editing)