Seismic Risk Assessment for British Columbia, Canada

The Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) is planning to conduct earthquake risk assessment at the national level using OpenQuake and other tools created by the Global Earthquake Model (GEM). As a pilot study, the GSC is investigating the seismic risk in the metropolitan area of Greater Vancouver and the broader provincial region of British Columbia (BC). The project involves evaluating a number of scenario earthquakes on the west coast of BC, including simulations of a large M9.0+ megathrust earthquake on the Cascadia Subduction Zone.

The predicted ground motion from these scenario events are applied to the detailed building and population inventory for the region prepared by the GSC at the neighborhood level using land-use maps to better reflect Canadian building types. Vulnerability models have been derived for Canadian building classes by GEM starting from Hazus capacity parameters and are being used in this project in conjugation with the hazard footprints for the scenarios and the detailed exposure model to estimate the impacts of the earthquakes.

The GSC is also planning to build the National Seismic Hazard Model for the 2020 National Building Code of Canada (NBCC) using the OpenQuake-engine. To compare model results from OpenQuake with the current implementation, the 2015 update of the national hazard model of Canada has already been implemented in OpenQuake. The GSC, in collaboration with the University of British Columbia (UBC), is also using this implementation to undertake a probabilistic seismic risk assessment for Greater Vancouver, using OpenQuake.

The GSC intends to communicate the results from both sets of exercises to the engineering and emergency management communities in BC with a view towards better informing the risk mitigation measures and emergency planning in the region. The lessons learnt and experience gained from this pilot study will be used to extend the risk assessment to the national level.
2015 - 2018
Geological Survey of Canada, University of British Columbia
Geological Survey of Canada
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