Project 11: Enhancing Earthquake Monitoring and Assessing Seismic Hazard for the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant,
Dr. Zhenming Wang, Seismologist and Section Head (Geological Hazards), Kentucky Geological Survey, University of Kentucky
Dr. Edward W. Woolery, Assistant Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Kentucky
In the central United States, the best information for determining seismogenic faults (faults that are capable of generating earthquakes) is seismicity (earthquake activity). Until recently, the lack of seismic stations in the area has precluded any definitive determination of the active faults in the area. Earthquakes occur periodically in area surrounding PGDP, for example, the August 26, 2003 west Paducah earthquake (mb 3.2). In order to better monitor and locate earthquakes, a temporary seismic network has been deployed in the area, with support from the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The seismic stations are still not dense enough for assessing accurate location of earthquakes in the area surrounding PGDP. Additional seismic stations are needed.
Federal government agencies, including the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, use the seismic hazard maps developed by the U.S. Geological Survey for seismic safety regulations. These maps are based on a 2 percent probability that a ground motion will be exceeded in 50 years (2,500-year return period). The maps predict very high ground motion for area surrounding PGDP. These high seismic hazard estimates for the area have a significant impact on seismic regulations and engineering designs for facilities at PGDP. The seismic hazard at PGDP has also been estimated by many other public and private organizations. The results are significantly different among these estimates.
1. Micro-seismicity observation in Paducah area: We propose to complete two seismic stations, one at PGDP and the other in Paducah, and to install three new seismic stations in the area. These stations, combined with the eight existing seismic stations, will enhance our capability to monitor micro-seismicity in the area.
2. Thorough literature review: There are many new developments and data
in seismic hazard assessment methodology, geology, and seismology locally, regionally, and nationally. The focus will be on the new geological and geophysical investigations in the area. The literature review will ensure the use of the best data and methodology.
3. Seismic source Characterization: Based on the information derived from Task 1
and 2, the seismic sources in and around PGDP and their characteristics will be defined.
4. Probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA): PSHA will be performed based on
the seismic source data from Task 3.
5. Deterministic seismic hazard analysis (DSHA): DSHA will be performed based
on the seismic source data from Task 3.
6. Develop Preliminary report.
7. Panel review. A 5-member review panel consisting of national and international
experts will be formed to review the preliminary report.
8. Develop Final report.
Jim Kipp, Associate Director of the Kentucky Research Consortium for Energy and Environment
Dr. Zhenming Wang, Seismologist and Section Head (Geological Hazards), Kentucky Geological Survey
Dr. Edward W. Woolery, Assistant Professor, Department of Geological Sciences
Dr. Baoping Shi, Seismologist, Kentucky Geological Survey
One post-doc (to be named)
Steven Hampson, Assistant Director, Kentucky Research Consortium for Energy and Environment, University of Kentucky
KRCEE is a collaborative effort of Kentucky universities and is administered by the University of Kentucky.