Report of Investigations--KGS


From January 2018 to December 2019, the Kentucky Geological Survey monitored earthquakes and conducted research on seismic hazards in the vicinity of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, a former uranium enrichment facility, in McCracken County, western Kentucky. Six hundred forty-four earthquakes with magnitude between 0.5 and 3.7 were recorded in the area during this period. Research focused on the influence of the thick sediments on earthquake ground motion, the so-called site response, through theoretical and data analysis of borehole seismic records. Our research has shown that the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program site classification, which is based on Vs30, and correction factors currently being used in earthquake engineering design and other safety evaluations are not appropriate to account for site response in the area.

Publication Date



Series XIII

Report Number

Report of Investigations 12

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Statement of Benefit to Kentucky

Continuing efforts to monitor earthquakes and conduct research have enhanced our understanding of seismic hazards in western Kentucky, which in turn has contributed to a sound scientific basis for developing design ground motions for buildings and facilities at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant and for western Kentucky, in general.

© 2020 University of Kentucky