David Boore honored with Bruce A. Bolt Medal for strong-motion earthquake research

April 12, 2010

One of David Boore's first publications in 1972 examined the design ground motions for the trans-Alaska pipeline and foreshadowed the direction of Boore's four decades in seismological research.

Boore, a geophysicist with the United State Geological Survey, developed SMSIM, a well-known method for computing estimates of ground motion from simulated earthquakes that is used by engineers and designers.

For his work, Boore will be honored with the Bruce A. Bolt Medal, which recognizes individuals who use strong-motion earthquake data and transfer scientific and engineering knowledge into practice or policy for improved seismic safety. The honor is a joint award given by the Consortium of Organizations for Strong-Motion Observation Systems, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and the Seismological Society of America.

With more than 230 publications during his career, Boore's work has advanced the understanding of strong-motion seismology. Focusing primarily on strong ground motion, Boore's work has influenced seismic building standards and improved seismic safety in the U.S. and around the world. During his career, Boore has focused on the prediction of strong ground shaking, both from analysis of observed data and from simulations.

While Boore was not the first researcher to pursue ground motion prediction equations (GMPEs), he has been on the forefront of improving prediction equations. Between 1982 and 2008, one can find at least 20 significant publications published by Boore on GMPEs that delve into critical issues for the central and eastern United States, extensional regimes, subduction zones and other regions of the world including Taiwan, Turkey and Europe.

Those efforts throughout Boore's career have had profound effects on seismic design. He has worked with the USGS to develop national hazard maps that affect building design across the nation. He has been directly involved with the USGS efforts in developing the national hazard maps that affect building design across the nation. He is currently involved with the seismic design for the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain.

Boore has been widely-recognized for his body of work. The U.S. Department of the Interior awarded Boore the Meritorious Service Award in 1993 and the Distinguished Service Award in 2005 in recognition of his research in different areas of engineering seismology. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and an honorary life member of the Seismological Society of America.
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SSA is an international scientific society devoted to the advancement of seismology and its applications in understanding and mitigating earthquake hazards and in imaging the structure of the earth. Founded in 1906 in San Francisco, the Society now has members throughout the world representing a variety of technical interests: seismologists and other geophysicists, geologists, engineers, insurers, and policy-makers in preparedness and safety.

Seismological Society of America
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