If you live in an earthquake-prone area, then you know the devastating consequences one can have. Everything from minor cracks to the total loss of a home is possible when one hits. Scientists track the intensity of earthquakes in several ways, one of which is by measuring peak ground acceleration (PGA). Take a look at why you should understand what PGA is and how it works.

Measuring Peak Ground Acceleration

When an earthquake occurs, its intensity is measured and recorded by the energy released at the epicenter. However, this may not provide an accurate representation of how it is felt in surrounding areas. PGA measures the actual ground movement during an earthquake and can be used at greater distances from the epicenter.

Using PGA Information

Since the actual risk to property varies depending on ground movement at that precise location, peak ground acceleration can be used in determining coverage for earthquake damage in areas removed from the epicenter. For example, even if you are hundreds of miles from an earthquake, ground movement in your area may still be severe enough to cause structural damage.

As you can see, buildings can be damaged even if they are not located close to the epicenter of an earthquake. Peak ground acceleration can be used to gauge the severity of ground movement in your exact location.