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GEM presents the OpenQuake-engine at the 12th International Geoscience Conference, Saudi Arabia


Jul 2, 2018

GEM’s Marco Pagani and Valerio Poggi recently conducted a 1-day workshop to introduce the hazard component of the OpenQuake-engine (OQ-engine) at the 12th International Geoscience Conference from February 4-7, 2018 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This year’s event, organized by the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS) and Saudi Society for Geosciences, attracted geoscientists and experts not just from the Arab states but from countries around the region and beyond as well.


More than 30 workshop participants got to observe and experience the key features of the OQ-engine. The morning session focused on theories describing the main characteristics of the hazard component and the information composing a hazard input model. The afternoon session focused on the calculation of hazard, initially illustrating the main characteristics of the Saudi Arabia National hazard model and subsequently performing some calculations using the model and demonstrating simple use cases.


The workshop organizer, SGS said the OQ-engine is indeed a very powerful tool for seismic hazard calculation and what sets it part from the other software is that it is truly open and accessible to all. Other participants shared the same view and expressed interest to use the OQ-engine in the future.


To download the OQ manual and installer, click here. Marco and Valerio met Hani M. Zahran and Vladimir Sokolov of the SGS after the workshop to discuss and explore future work and collaboration in the Arabian peninsula. Recently, the GEM Foundation hazard team completed the latest seismic hazard model for Saudi Arabia using the OQ-engine in collaboration with the SGS.


Though the hazard model is for a moderate seismicity area, the implementation nonetheless posed a number of challenges and difficulties (e.g. the interactions with volcanic processes in proximity to the Red sea), which GEM and SGS hope to further address in future collaborative undertakings.


“The conference is a good opportunity for GEM to further strengthen its network in the Arabian region. It has given us the chance to meet representatives from SGS for the first time; although in the recent past, we have collaborated with them to implement the OQ-engine for the Saudi hazard model. The meeting opened new doors and possibilities of expanding GEM’s work in the Arabian Peninsula,” Marco Pagani reflecting on the value of GEM’s participation to the conference.


The main objective of the annual conference is to advance knowledge and cooperation in Earth Sciences across the Arabian region to facilitate research in emerging fields, to build strong links between academia, industry and eco/geo/archeological tourism, and to foster long-term sustainable development of the Arab region. To download post-event materials and documents, please visit:

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