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Seismic Sources
Natural Phenomena Hazards Site Characterization Criteria - index
Seismic source identification data - Continued

investigation of the site. Additionally, Senior Seismic Hazard Analysis Committee (1997c) provides a
methodology for characterizing seismic sources linked to completing a probabilistic seismic hazard
analysis (see DOE-STD-1023-1995). If such a study clearly shows that the near site features dominate
the hazard, more extensive site investigations should be made in the near field. McConnell et al., (1992)
provides an iterative approach for identification of the regions to be investigated to identify fault
displacement hazards and seismic hazards at a geologic repository in the Western United States (WUS)
based on a review of the pertinent literature, relevant field investigations, and consideration of alternative
tectonic models. For investigations of sites containing facilities with SSCs in Performance Category 4
such as nuclear reactor safety, U.S. NRC Regulatory Guide R.G. 1.165 (USNRC, 1997) provides
guidance for identification of the regions to be investigated:
Regional investigations using literature reviews and geological reconnaissance should generally be
conducted for a radius of 320 km (200 miles) from the site, unless clearly justified.
Geological, seismological, and geophysical investigations should be carried out for a radius of 40 km (25
miles) from the site to identify and characterize the seismic and surface deformation potential of seismic
sources, or to demonstrate that such structures are not present.
Detailed geological, geophysical, seismological, and geotechnical (GGSG) investigations should be
conducted for a radius of 8 km (5 miles) from the site to determine the potential for surface tectonic and
non-tectonic deformations in the site vicinity.
The area of detailed GGSG investigations may be larger than a 5-mile radius in regions of late Quaternary
earth movements or historical seismic activities, or where a site is located near a fault zone, or complex
2. Type of investigations. There are several acceptable types of investigations to identify seismic sources.
Different techniques are required depending on the geologic setting and tectonic environment. In most
cases, more than one approach must be used and the reliability of the results depends on the experience
and competence of the investigators for synthesizing and interpreting various types of geological,
seismological, and geophysical data. Types of investigations include:
Analysis of aerial photographs and other remote sensing imagery
Geologic, including stratigraphic and structural, reconnaissance and mapping
Geomorphic analysis (e.g., fault scarp morphology, terrace profiling, geodetic land surveys)
Analysis of local and regional geophysical data (e.g., seismic reflection, seismic refraction,
aeromagnetics, gravity, etc.,)
Subsurface investigations of suspected fault traces (e.g., trenching, geophysical investigations, borings)
Age dating techniques including radiometric (e.g., carbon 14, thermoluminescence), chemical (e.g.,
pedogenic soils), biological (dendrochronology), and evolutionary (palynology)
Listing of all historically reported earthquakes (including instrumentally recorded data) that are associated
with seismic' sources, any part of which is within a radius of 320 km (200 miles) of the site, and
seismicity analysis, including date of occurrence, earthquake sizes (intensity and/or magnitude), epicentral
locations, focal depths, and focal mechanisms
Correlation of seismicity with geologic structure
Interpretation of stress orientation from focal mechanisms, geologic indicators, field experiments (e.g.,
hydrofracturing, borehole breakout investigations), and geodetic data
3. Source zones. In the stable continental region of the Eastern U. S. (EUS), away from tectonic plate
margins, it generally has not been possible to associate seismicity with specific geologic structures

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