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GEM’s Global Mosaic of Earthquake Models - challenges and approaches in creating globally consistent earthquake hazard and risk models


Mar 16, 2022

On March 9, 2022, Marco Pagani and Anirudh Rao discussed GEM's approach in overcoming the top challenges in creating globally consistent earthquake hazard and risk models. The event, organized by EigenRisk, was part of the GEM-EigenRisk partnership to promote and distribute GEM’s global earthquake hazard products.

On the hazard side, Marco discussed the challenges in creating a comprehensive map of seismic hazard by combining probabilistic seismic hazard models of many different nations and regions of the world.

When GEM works on building a model for a certain region, we make sure to first get in touch with the community leaders. We try to engage them into those projects because we recognize the importance of working with local experts.” - Marco Pagani, GEM Hazard Coordinator on collaboration and openness in modeling earthquake hazards.

On the risk side, Anirudh explained that the development of the global exposure model and building classification involved hundreds of people around the world, reaching out to communities through dozens of meetings and forming working groups. He also discussed the development of the global suite of vulnerability functions. He added that GEM visited different places, held workshops on earthquake risk assessment and solicited critical feedback from local experts. As a result, GEM was able to identify many areas for improvement in the risk models which, he said, would not have been possible without the deep engagement of local expertise and stakeholders.

Both Marco and Anirudh expressed that community effort at various levels – an approach that GEM has embraced since its foundation in 2009 – was key in overcoming both scientific and organizational challenges in creating the global mosaic. Through sharing of scientific knowledge, material and human resources, GEM was able to produce the first globally consistent earthquake hazard and risk model in 2018.

GEM’s open source software, OpenQuake Engine, was used to develop and translate all of the data and models into a consistent framework, resulting in hazard and risk maps that are now accessible to inform a wide range of risk management decisions, including risk rating, insurance underwriting, exposure modelling, catastrophe bonds/parametric risk financing, and seismic regulations.

The webinar was participated in by more than 80 participants from several countries in the Americas, Asia and Europe.

For more information about Eigenrisk and EigenPrism, visit

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