The Geological Survey of Canada has the responsibility for assessing earthquake hazard for the National Building Code of Canada, which is updated every five years. The first truly national seismic hazard map was incorporated into the 1970 edition of National Building Code. Before that, since 1953, there had been a sketch map of seismic hazard regions in the National Building Code for only parts of the country. This new map, however, calculated hazard based on the likelihood of earthquakes in all of Canada. This triggered a worldwide trend of what is called “probabilistic” seismic hazard mapping, with the result that today it is practised in most countries.
Research evaluating earthquake hazard in Canada remains one of the Survey’s core activities. Today’s seismic hazard maps include the latest earthquake data, the latest research, and the latest analysis techniques in this young and continuously evolving science.
The most recent national seismic hazard maps were released in the 2015 edition of the National Building Code. They can also be found on the Survey’s Earthquakes Canada website, where users can calculate hazard levels for any location in Canada.