USGS has joined the TREQ initiative for urban earthquake scenarios

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The USGS has recently joined the GEM TREQ project: Training and Communication for Earthquake Risk Assessment to undertake a research project that aims to deliver a suite of USGS’s National Earthquake Information Center’s (NEIC) real-time shaking, impact, and aftershock forecast products for the earthquake scenarios.

 

In addition, the collaboration also aims to compare USGS PAGER and GEM loss model estimates for the TREQ earthquake scenarios. Through TREQ’s newly compiled data and models, the partnership also aims to explore the potential of a global 2PAGER product (Wald et al. 2020) using the PAGER semi-empirical model using the scenario earthquake case studies for the three major urban centers in Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region.

 

This exploratory analysis will help in understanding and scoping of future research and development needs for the PAGER team and could serve as the foundation for the next phase of the PAGER research project. The three identified urban centers under the TREQ project are: Quito (Ecuador), Cali (Colombia), and Santiago de los Caballeros (Dominican Republic).

 

The expected outputs from the research and development project are: (i) NEIC’s real time shaking, impact, and aftershock forecast products for the earthquake scenarios considered under the GEM TREQ project for the three urban centers for operational response planning;(ii) documentation of a comparison between USGS PAGER and GEM Open Quake Model loss estimates for the TREQ scenario earthquakes, and (iii) a global 2PAGER product design by leveraging the TREQ data and modeling capabilities as a potential next phase of USGS PAGER development.

 

The activities are also geared at further fostering continued research collaboration between the BHA/USGS PAGER team and the GEM Foundation on science and engineering, and will leverage from GEM’s effort in collecting requisite data for scenario development to explore development of a global 2PAGER product.

 

Since the damage and impact estimates from each scenario will be generated based on the same underlying data and vulnerability/fragility models, there will be adequate synergy built in from the beginning in terms of GEM’s OQ engine and PAGER modeling results.

 

This will also give GEM’s TREQ modelling outputs using OQ engine the opportunity to be validated by events produced in a ‘real operational’ environment from using the USGS PAGER methodologies. The availability of NEIC’s real-time products will enable decision makers (e.g., emergency responders from city/county/metropolitan jurisdiction) to aim for operational readiness similar to what is being practiced in the U.S. under FEMA led ‘National Level Exercises (NLEs)’ to improve operational response capacity.

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