SCEEP is composed of three College of Charleston Geology faculty whose broad research interests encompass everything from the cause of the earthquakes in South Carolina to the likely effects of earthquakes in South Carolina. Coming from a wide array of backgrounds, from earthquake chaser to environmental GIS modeler, the SCEEP group combines a variety of skills to investigate South Carolina earthquakes and share that information with the public and the appropriate emergency management groups.

The SCEEP group is funded by the South Carolina Emergency Management Division and through the College of Charleston's Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences. As such, it is responsible for promoting earthquake safety and examining earthquake hazards on a statewide basis.


Director: Dr. Norm Levine
Areas of Specialization: WEBGIS, Geoinformatics, Data Dissemination, Mapping Technology, Earthquake Hazards
Phone: (843) 953-5308

Ongoing South Carolina Seismic Research

Spatial distribution of damage and damage patterns due to the 1886 earthquake

Related abstracts:

Reeves, R., La Torre, I. B., Schluter, W., Levine, N. S., Doyle, B. C., & Jaume, S. (2006). Mapping the effects of 1886 Charleston earthquake on wood frame buildings; geological society of America, southeastern section, 55th annual meeting. Abstracts with Programs - Geological Society of America, 38(3), 31.

Understanding Seismic hazard preparedness and mitigation in the low country using Hazus.

Related abstracts:

LEVINE, Norman S., (2004),THE USE OF HAZUS-MH FOR EARTHQUAKE HAZARDS PREPARATION IN CHARLESTON SC, Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 39, No. 2, p. 26

Wine, J. C.,III, Simmons, C. H., & Levine, N. S. (2004). HAZUS-MH FEMA's natural hazards loss estimation tool where science meets policy; geological society of America, 2004 annual meeting. Abstracts with Programs - Geological Society of America, 36(5), 299.

Levine, N. S., Jaume, S. C., & Anderson, E. K. (2004). CSHACe (Charleston seismic hazard analysis consortium); a web-GIS enabled hazards research and communication initiative; geological society of America, 2004 annual meeting. Abstracts with Programs - Geological Society of America, 36(5), 331.

Site characterization for the Charleston ANSS Seismometers.

Related abstracts:

Jaume, S. C., Levine, N. S., & Anderson, E. K. (2004). Integration of historical earthquake damage information into seismic hazard mapping and site planning for advanced national seismic system stations, Charleston, south Carolina; geological society of America, 2004 annual meeting. Abstracts with Programs - Geological Society of America, 36(5), 331.

Levine, N. S., & Jaume, S. C. (2004). The use of GIS for seismic hazard analysis in the Charleston, SC region; Geological Society of America, northeastern section, 38th annual meeting; geological society of America, southeastern section, 53rd annual meeting. Abstracts with Programs - Geological Society of America, 36(2), 120.

Upcoming South Carolina Seismic Research

Development of a revised NEHRP soils map for the Charleston region.

Identification of quaternary faulting in the lowcountry.
Information Technology and Data Distribution: Dr. Erin Beutel
Areas of Specialization: Tectonophysics, Structural Geology, and South Carolina Geology
Phone: (843) 953-5591

Ongoing South Carolina Seismic Research

I am currently working with a student, Kathleen Rehburg, on a geomorphic study of SC rivers using topographic maps and Google Earth to find areas of potential activity based on uplift, basin tilt, and sinuosity. Using the assumption that active faults in the region would parallel pre-existing N60E faults and lineaments, initial results show an area of uplift in the Little Peedee river that corresponds to the locations of the September 2006 Florence/Cheraw earthquakes. This area of uplift corresponds to an area of increased sinuosity in the Little PeeDee that appears to be bracketed by the earthquakes (Figure 1). Continuing studies will look at the river and sinuosity profiles for all major SC rivers below the fall line and compare the results with previous earthquake records and geologic maps of old shorelines and bedrock compositional changes. It is hoped that use of Google Earth will allow for more precise measurements in the future.

Upcoming South Carolina Seismic Research

Because concentrations of intraplate earthquakes are poorly understood, it is important to understand how stress released in intraplate earthquakes is both generated and distributed. To this end I will be constructing finite-element models of the stress generated by the Mid-Atlantic ridge and the oceanic lithosphere out to 80 mya, I will then model how this stress is distributed across the SE margin of North America based on the shape of the continent and the pre-existing weaknesses and known faults.

Interested in undertaking

  • More accurate river profiles

  • Geodetic survey of uplift in the Sandhills section of South Carolina

  • Additional stress modeling

Earthquake Science: Dr. Steve Jaume
Areas of Specialization: Earthquake Location, Seismic Ground Motion Studies, Fault Interaction
Phone: (843) 953-5589

Ongoing South Carolina Seismic Research:

Finalize analysis of ambient seismic noise (ReMi) data collected during previous field seasons and write up results for publication. Determine degree of correlation between 30 meter shear wave velocity structure (Vs30) determined via ReMi and borehole (SCPT-seismic cone penetration test) methods. Explore apparent correlation between extremely shallow (~10 meter) shear wave velocity and surface geology.

Finalize long distance earthquake (teleseismic) SH-wave spectral ratios between upstate and coastal plain South Carolina Earth Physics Project (SCEPP) seismic stations for 4th International Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering, June 25-28. Construct "average" rock station spectrums for each earthquake, and compare results between spectral ratios using the average spectrum and the individual rock/sediment spectral ratios.

Upcoming South Carolina Seismic Research:

Work on materials for SCEEP website and webGIS. In particular, update database of borehole data (SPT- standard penetration test, CPT - cone penetration test, and SCPT) in the Charleston region, including verification of borehole locations from local geotechnical firms. Start to include in USGS auger hole data if possible. Use this database to better map the top of the "Cooper Marl" and continue exploring apparent correlation between 10 meter shear wave velocity and surface geology.

Thoroughly explore the new options in the latest version of the ambient seismic noise analysis software (Optimsoft ReMi v.4.0). In particular, compare shear wave velocity models created using the "inversion" option versus those created by forward modeling. Also explore the option allowing use of only a subset of seismic sensors to see if I can detect horizontal changes in shear wave velocity structure in addition to the velocity changes with depth.