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Impact of Local Site Conditions on Portfolio Earthquake Loss Estimation for Different Building Types

Peyghaleh et al.

Physical risk



This article presents a sensitivity analysis investigating the impact of using high-resolution site conditions databases in portfolio earthquake loss estimation. This article also estimates the effects of variability in the site condition databases on probabilistic earthquake loss ratios and their geographical pattern with respect to structural characteristics of different building types. To perform the earthquake loss estimation here, the OpenQuake software developed by Global Earthquake Model is implemented in Clemson University’s supercomputer. The probabilistic event-based risk analysis is employed considering several notional portfolios of different building types in the San Francisco area as the inventory exposure. This analysis produces the stochastic event sets worth for 10,000 years including almost 8000 synthetically simulated earthquakes. Then, the ground motion prediction equations are used to calculate the ground motion per event and incorporate the effect of five site conditions, on amplifying or de-amplifying the ground motions on notional building exposure locations. Notional buildings are used to account for various building characteristics in conformance with the building taxonomy represented in HAZUS software. The HAZUS damage functions are applied to model the vulnerability of various structural types of buildings. Finally, the 50-year average mean loss and probabilistic loss for multiple values for probability of exceedance (2, 10, 20, and 40%) in 50 years are calculated, and the impact of different site condition databases on portfolio loss ratios is investigated for different structural types and heights of buildings. The results show the aggregated and geographical variation of loss and loss ratio throughout the region for various site conditions. Comparing the aggregated loss and loss ratio, while considering different databases, represents normalized differences that are limited to 6% for all building taxonomy with various heights and for all PoEs. However, site-specific loss ratio errors are significantly greater and in some cases are more than 20%.

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