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Significant Error on Page 295, Seismological Research Letters, May/June 1999

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In my considered judgment, there is a significant error on Page 295 of the 
Seismological Research Letters, May/June 1999, published by the Seismological 
Society of America.  This error pertains to the identification of the seismic 
hazards maps used in FEMA 273, "NEHRP Guidelines for the Seismic 
Rehabilitation of Buildings."

On page 295 of this publication in the first sentence in the right hand 
column is the following wording:  "The seismic maps that accompany the 
Guidelines are available at"

The seismic maps at this web site are the USGS Seismic Hazard Maps and NOT 
the maps that are to be used with the 1997 NEHRP, FEMA 273 and 310  
provisions which are provided in a "Seismic Map Package" that accompany these 
three seismic codes and Guidelines. 

This serious misinformation helps perpetuate a growing misunderstand that 
could have serious consequences because the ground motion information 
presented on the USGS Seismic Hazard Maps is different than the ground motion 
information presented on the paper format seismic hazard maps in the "Seismic 
Map Package."

Since the article discusses the role of the Degenkolb firm in the ASCE/FEMA 
273 Project, if this firm reviews and believes I am correct, then it is my 
considered opinion that it is the Degenkolb firm's responsibility or the 
responsibility of whomever prepared this article, to correct this wording 
using whatever national forum and format that is appropriate as soon as 
possible because of the potential legal liability for this misinformation and 
its use. 

I believe it is not sufficient just to notify the editor of  the 
Seismological Research Letters because these letters are only published every 
two months and engineers could be using this misinformation right now.

For a more complete  and excellent explanation of the difference in these 
USGS and 1997 NEHRP, FEMA 273 and 310 seismic hazard maps read E. V. 
Leyendecker's January 12, 1999, SEAINT List Server email message "Seismic 
Zones in Texas - Some USGS Comments" , which should be in the SEAINT 

If you have any questions, please contact Jon Heintz, Project Engineer, for 
the Degenkolb managed "ASCE/FEMA 273 Project" at his email address 
jheintz(--nospam--at)  However, you should read E. V. Leyendecker's SEAINT 
email posting first before contacting him.

I guess someone has to pick out the fly specks out of the pepper.  This error 
is a pretty big fly speck.

Frank E. McClure    FEMCCLURE(--nospam--at)   June 3, 1999, My Birthday.

File: SRL1.doc