Vitor Silva et al. receive the 2020 Outstanding Paper Award for Development of a Global Seismic Risk Model from Earthquake Engineering Research Institute


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  • The paper which describes the Global Earthquake Hazard and Risk maps released by GEM in December 2018, was a result of a long and extensive collaboration with local, national, regional and international institutions worldwide. Download link:

  • Authors: Vitor Silva, Desmond Amo-Oduro, Alejandro Calderon Carpio, Catarina Costa, Jamal Dabbeek, Venetia Despotaki, Luis Martins, Marco Pagani, Anirudh Rao, Michele Simionato, Daniele Viganò, Catalina Yepes Estrada, Ana Beatriz Acevedo, Helen Crowley, Nick Horspool, Kishor Jaiswal, Murray Journeay, Massimiliano Pittore.

David Wald, Editor-in-Chief, Earthquake Spectra:

“This is a wonderful recognition for GEM as a milestone - the global risk model was just a vision—an aspiration—when GEM started. Now it's a reality, that is well summarized by this paper. GEM has really accomplished great things, and this recognition is so well deserved. I think this is going to be a highly cited paper. So for the journal, this is a great paper to have and we're proud to publish it. I congratulate all of you.”

EERI citation for the award:

The Development of a Global Seismic Risk Model was a mammoth undertaking that involved hundreds of people and for the first time presented a detailed view of seismic risk at the global scale. For some developing countries, this was the first time that a seismic risk map was produced, and the associated country profiles are being used by the local authorities.

The development and delivery of a modern global seismic risk model required unprecedented technical, algorithmic, coding, databasing, and collaborative research and development - all well documented by Silva et al. Noting its importance, all three reviewers recommended this seminal paper for an award.

Vitor Silva, lead author and GEM Risk Team Coordinator:

“On behalf of all the co-authors, I would like to thank all our partners and collaborators for your invaluable contributions. Without your support, this would not have been possible. The collaboration across public, private and academic sectors worldwide has been truly exceptional. We share this award and honor with you.”

John Schneider, GEM Secretary General:

“It has been more than a decade now since GEM started this initiative. Hundreds of collaborators from diverse organizations around the world worked together for many years to produce the global maps. This award from EERI is another testament to the impact of GEM’s work in the global earthquake hazard and risk assessment space.”

This paper was released as a part of the 2020 Earthquake Spectra Special Issue titled GEM's 2018 global hazard and risk models. “Although the paper was released only last year, it has already garnered 44 citations and 1,800 views on the Earthquake Spectra SAGE portal.” - David Wald on the paper’s online performance to date.

For more information about the Outstanding Paper Award, visit the EERI awards page.


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