Geological Survey of Canada Open File 4459

Fourth generation seismic hazard maps of Canada: Values for over 650 Canadian localities intended for the 2005 National Building Code of Canada

John Adams and Stephen Halchuk
Earthquakes Canada,
Geological Survey of Canada
7 Observatory Crescent
Ottawa K1A 0Y3

155 pages, including 7 tables, 47 figures, and 5 Appendices

NOTE: This Open File replaces Open File 3724, issued in July 1999

Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada 2003


We summarize the methods being used for the new seismic hazard maps of Canada and estimate median ground motion on firm soil sites for a probability of exceedence of 2% in 50 years. Spectral acceleration at 0.2, 0.5, 1.0 and 2.0 second periods and peak acceleration will form the basis of the seismic provisions of the 2005 National Building Code of Canada. We tabulate values for more than 650 localities to be listed in the next Code and include maps of seismic hazard for Canada. The four spectral parameters will allow the construction of approximate uniform hazard spectra for each listed locality, and hence improve earthquake- resistant design. For comparison to NBCC 1995, selected 10% in 50 year hazard values are also given.

Although these values are intended to form the basis of the 2005 edition of the National Building Code of Canada, they have yet to be formally adopted and are subject to change. The next National Building Code of Canada is expected to be adopted in 2005.


2005 National Building Code of Canada seismic hazard maps

Table 1: Seismic hazard values intended for the 2005 NBCC Design Data for Selected Locations in Canada" table

for a fuller explanation, download the entire Open File from the Earth Sciences Sector Geopub website:

Errata - List of corrections made to the Open File on January 18, 2011, March 5, 2004 and May 15, 2003.

Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 4459, 2003; 155 pages