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Spatial aspects of building and population exposure data and their implications for global earthquake exposure modeling

F. Dell'Acqua, P. Gamba, K. Jaiswal

Physical Risk



This paper discusses spatial aspects of the global exposure dataset and mapping needs for earthquake risk assessment. We discuss this in the context of development of a Global Exposure Database for the Global Earthquake Model (GED4GEM), which requires compilation of a multi-scale inventory of assets at risk, for example, buildings, populations, and economic exposure. After defining the relevant spatial and geographic scales of interest, different procedures are proposed to disaggregate coarse-resolution data, to map them, and if necessary to infer missing data by using proxies. We discuss the advantages and limitations of these methodologies and detail the potentials of utilizing remote-sensing data. The latter is used especially to homogenize an existing coarser dataset and, where possible, replace it with detailed information extracted from remote sensing using the built-up indicators for different environments. Present research shows that the spatial aspects of earthquake risk computation are tightly connected with the availability of datasets of the resolution necessary for producing sufficiently detailed exposure. The global exposure database designed by the GED4GEM project is able to manage datasets and queries of multiple spatial scales.

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