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  • Earthquake Risk Modeling in Canada: From Knowledge to Action

    Latest News Earthquake Risk Modeling in Canada: From Knowledge to Action READ MORE Photo caption: OpenQuake workshop participants, London, Ontario, Canada 2019 GALLERY RELATED CONTENTS RELATED CONTENTS OpenQuake workshop participants, London, Ontario, Canada 2019 A total of 78 individuals, 28 of whom joined online, participated in the OpenQuake workshop held in London, Ontario, Canada from November 6th to 7th. Western University hosted the event in collaboration with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), the GEM Foundation, the UWO Good Vibrations and Excitations Research Facility and the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR). The 2-day modeling training workshop, led by GEM’s Catalina Yepes and Anirudh Rao, and NRCan’s Murray Journeay and Tiegan Hobbs, explored analytic capabilities and use of the OpenQuake suite for the analysis of earthquake risk and the evaluation of risk reduction strategies. GEM risk scientists introduced OpenQuake and guided the group in setting up and running earthquake risk scenarios for the Charleevoix and Montreal regions, followed by probabilistic risk assessment for the Quebec Metropolitan Community. Michal Kolaj from NRCan presented the scientific updates proposed in the forthcoming National Seismic Hazard Model for the 2020 National Building Code of Canada (NBCC), and its implementation in OpenQuake. Murray Journeay presented the national earthquake risk model for Canada which is slated for public release in Spring 2020. Murray also touched on how NRCan Science is implementing socio-economic vulnerability and resilience indicators in Canada’s risk models. Participants expressed overwhelming satisfaction on the training contents and approach. Hema Shandeep Sharma of UWO said, “In just one day, we’ve already learned so much about seismic hazard assessment using OpenQuake”. The training sessions were designed for risk modelers working in areas of both fundamental and applied science - and practitioners who are interested in using the outputs of risk assessments to inform disaster resilience planning at local and regional scales in Canada. The OpenQuake training workshop in Western University is the fifth this year, reaching a total of more than 250 individuals. The four other training workshops were conducted in Nepal, India, Turkey and Serbia. GEM conducts regular training on OpenQuake for seismic hazard and risk assessments. For more information on GEM’s OpenQuake training workshops, please contact marco.pagani@globalquakemodel.org and vitor.silva@globalquakemodel.org . About the #OQCanada2019 workshop Insights gained through quantitative earthquake risk modeling are foundational to seismic design and disaster risk reduction planning at all levels of decision making. OpenQuake is a collaborative earthquake hazard and risk-modeling suite developed by the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) Foundation used during workshop exercises. Canada joined the GEM Foundation as a public sector partner in 2017 and is working with researchers and practitioners from across the public, academic and private sectors to advance capabilities for catastrophic risk modeling and to co-develop a National Earthquake Risk Profile that will establish a base of evidence to help inform and empower disaster resilience planning initiatives in the public domain. GALLERY No images found. RELATED CONTENTS 1/43

  • UCERF3 | Global EarthQuake Model Foundation

    Products UCERF3 Product type Model Now DESCRIPTION UCERF3 is part of GEM's Global Earthquake Hazard and Risk Maps released to the public in December 2018. As part of the mosaic, the seismic hazard, exposure and vulnerability models employed in the calculations were either provided by national institutions, or developed within the scope of regional programs, bilateral collaborations, or by GEM. Click View for details. Hazard The Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast, Version 3 (UCERF3) is a model of earthquake occurrence for California developed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Working Group on California Earthquake Probabilities (WGCEP). The time-independent version of UCERF3 (Field et al., 2013; 2014) has been used for the 2014 update of the USGS National Seismic Hazard Maps (Petersen et al., 2014). The model has been translated from its original format into the OpenQuake (OQ) engine by GEM. Maintained by USGS Product type Model Availability Now View Documentation Request an NDA Product restrictions Non-Disclosure Agreement (By request for public-good, non-commercial use.) License type NDA Request for Commercial License Request for Commercial Use Exposure Building inventory data for population, residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, educational, governmental, and religious buildings. Maintained by FEMA Product type Model Availability Now View Documentation Request an NDA Product restrictions As originally defined in the model. License type See documentation Request for Commercial License Request for Commercial Use The exposure data for California can be found on the FEMA Hazus download page . Please note that the exposure data is not in the OpenQuake format and GEM will not provide support for its conversion. To obtain a license for the exposure data, please contact hazus-support@riskmapcds.com . Vulnerability Vulnerability curves for all building classes Maintained by GEM Product type Model Availability Now View Documentation Request an NDA Product restrictions Open By Attribution, Share-Alike and Commercial use provided the by-products are shared under the same conditions as the original license License type CC BY-SA Request for Commercial License Request for Commercial Use Country Profiles Title Status Maintained by GEM Licence type CC BY-SA Availability Coming soon Product restrictions Open By Attribution, Share-Alike and Commercial use provided the by-products are shared under the same conditions as the original license GEM License Types AGPL – GNU Affero General Public License, used mostly for software CC BY – Creative Commons, By-Attribution CC BY-SA – Creative Commons, By-Attribution, Share-Alike CC BY-NC-SA – Creative Commons, By Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-Alike NDA – Non-Disclosure Agreement (By request for public-good, non-commercial use.) Other/Commercial – If a product is not available under a license that suits your needs, such as for commercial application, please contact us to discuss your use case and other partnership/licensing options and fees. More details on GEM’s licensing terms here . Apologies for the inconvenience, the online NDA application is temporarily unavailable due to ongoing revisions.Please send your request to product@globalquakemodel.org . Thank you.

  • OpenQuake Survey results: Toward innovation in 2021 and beyond

    Latest News OpenQuake Survey results: Toward innovation in 2021 and beyond READ MORE Photo caption: ​ GALLERY RELATED CONTENTS RELATED CONTENTS ​ The GEM Foundation completed an online survey of 83 OpenQuake users from 32 countries in December 2020. The aim of the survey was to understand the way users currently use OpenQuake, and to use the feedback as input for product development and for improving overall user experience. To date, the OpenQuake engine - GEM’s state-of-the-art, open source software for seismic hazard and risk analysis - has been cited in peer-reviewed publications for earthquake hazard and risk studies in 16 regions and 58 countries. No doubt, the actual number of studies is far greater. What were the Key takeaways from the OpenQuake survey Overall, OpenQuake is rated as the best open source software for both earthquake hazard and risk analysis by most of the respondents. The OpenQuake engine is mostly used for hazard analysis purposes (2:1 ratio against risk), and current features that were rated high were mostly related to hazard. However, these could be a limitation of the survey i.e. depends on who participated. The expertise level of most OpenQuake users responding was mainly in the beginner to intermediate range. Most beginner users found it not user friendly, which is not surprising given the complexity of the analysis process and the level of knowledge required to use the software effectively. This result suggests there is an opportunity for GEM to expand its training activities in the future, and potentially get additional income from this service. Future improvements pointed out by the users focused mainly on thorough documentation including all configuration parameters, while in terms of future development, the preference (64%) is to further develop OpenQuake’s hazard and risk modelling capabilities with additional tool kits for developing the required input models (e.g. source model, ground motion selection, exposure model, vulnerability model), testing, visualization, and extended toolkits. Feedback from the respondents Overall, about 70% of the respondents gave high satisfaction ratings for OpenQuake. Below are some of the positive feedback from the users. (see gallery image: Overall OQ Engine Rating) “Thank you for your great work. There is always a lot that can be done, but OQ is already an awesomely useful tool.” “In general, it is an amazing tool and I really enjoy working with it and all the support I have received from the team.” “Lots of great improvements are being made with each release and sometimes it is hard to keep up without having insider knowledge! I don't know what the solution is - the What's New is very well done, but I suppose I feel it is not always translated to the manual?” “Having started to work with OQ only recently, I personally have to say that I value all of your development and I appreciate your great support and help while setting things up (more technical stuff, really). Good product, good work. Thank you!” “I really appreciate the collaborative nature of the GEM Development Team. I find they are excellent at responding to queries both in a timely manner but also with good detail. Keep up the great work!” Next steps In 2021 the plan is to revamp the GEM website’s Products download system and incorporate an automated email invitation to provide feedback after 1-2 months after the download. The feedback form will also be modified to make it shorter and more aligned with GEM’s: short- and long-term plans for the OpenQuake Engine; and with customer support and satisfaction. If you have ideas for how to improve OpenQuake or want more information, please send an email to or join the OpenQuake Users Forum . We also love to hear about how you have used OpenQuake in your research or in hazard or risk assessment applications. Send us your publications and reports at communication@globalquakemodel.org and we will be happy to promote them through our newsletter and website. GALLERY No images found. RELATED CONTENTS Overall OQ Engine Rating Overall OQ Engine Rating 1/4

  • Social Vulnerability Index Construction: Accessing Open Data from National Censuses

    Latest News Social Vulnerability Index Construction: Accessing Open Data from National Censuses READ MORE Photo caption: ​ GALLERY RELATED CONTENTS RELATED CONTENTS ​ Miguel Toquica - GEM Social Vulnerability and Resilience Specialist shares his insights on GEM's experience in accessing socio-economic data from national censuses and public online databases. When it comes to accessing the demographic characteristics of the population of a country, researchers usually consider national population and household censuses as reliable sources of information. Ideally, most countries should update their national census data and procedures every 10 years. The need to keep track of socio-economic factors and statistical measures of societies is recognized globally to better understand the living conditions and characteristics of the population in a specific country. In this regard, national censuses are considered as the most reliable source of such type of information at specific level of territorial organization, i.e. regions, states, parishes, and local level. A national population and housing census has several uses for a country. It provides not just the total number of population and households but also the demographic information for population estimates and specific information for national agencies in the fields of education, health and economy. A national census also gives quantified information of socio-economic conditions of a specific subdivision and groups of people in a country.At GEM we are collecting and processing national census data for our research on what socio-economic conditions could contribute to the population’s vulnerability to natural hazards, i.e. earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, flooding, hurricanes, and droughts. In most cases, our research using census data have led us to information on the pre-existing characteristics i.e. average household size, unemployment rates, etc. that relate directly to why differential impacts from natural hazards occur across space. Social vulnerability helps to explain why some areas, such as a country’s sub-national parishes or city neighbourhoods, will experience the consequences of a natural hazard in different ways. Understanding the varying impacts of a natural hazard through social vulnerability assessments is a critical element for risk reduction, elaboration of mitigation plans, and the development of public policies to reduce the risk. To measure social vulnerability, the starting point is to capture the contextual conditions within the social structure of the study area. This social structure includes characteristics of the population and factors that increase or decrease the impact of natural hazards in the community. These factors include access to basic needs (potable water, electricity, and sanitary services), access to education and health, and characteristics of specific groups within the society that makes them vulnerable, e.g. the elderly population, children, population with disabilities, ethnic groups and so forth. As an example, indigenous people, like the women working in the crafts industry belonging to the Wayuu ethnic community in Colombia (Figure 2), typically live in isolated regions where access to financial means and basic public services like potable water, electricity, as well as public infrastructure is difficult or non-existent. These conditions may compromise their capacity for disaster preparedness and make it harder for government agencies to respond and conduct recovery efforts, thereby increasing their vulnerability in case of an emergency. In this context, information obtained from national censuses in Latin America has allowed the Social Vulnerability and Resilience (SVR) team at GEM (i) to develop databases for indicators of social vulnerability, and (ii) to construct social vulnerability indices for over 20 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. This task has been possible thanks to the online access to national census databases made available by several countries in Latin America and the Caribbean such as the CELADE-Redatam. To start the development and construction of social vulnerability indices, GEM’s SVR team obtained the most recent socioeconomic data from available national population and housing censuses from countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The collected raw values within the population, economy, infrastructure, health, and education dimensions were then processed to obtain standardised values using percentage, per capita, and density functions that can be used for country comparisons. In addition, a statistical multivariable analysis has been conducted to select a consistent set of indicators for all countries. The socio-economic variables obtained are then standardised and rescaled to create a set of indicators with the same measurement. The analysis also includes a correlation analysis, which is used to quantify the association between two continuous variables, hence narrowing the data to be selected for the regional set of variables that are acceptable to represent the social vulnerability, economic resilience and recovery capacity of the population in Latin America and the Caribbean. Figure 3 provides an example of the Social Vulnerability Index for Central America and the Caribbean region. Challenges Even though the process of collecting, processing and building SV databases and indices seem quite straight forward, accessing the data from censuses and other sources can prove to be challenging and sometimes frustrating. In some cases, the censuses are not fully available, or they are not provided in the desired working format. Some of the most common challenges we have encountered and possible solutions are outlined below:- There is lack of common data processing techniques that are compatible across all countries. Trying to keep the standards of data and indicators selected for all countries may not always work as most censuses are conducted on different basis and using different techniques. This may result in slightly different social vulnerability datasets per country, and therefore the final indicator selection and index composition may differ from country to country. This challenge has been minimized by performing multivariate and correlation analyses on the full set of socio-economic indicators. This technique allows the SVR team to carefully select a set of indicators that better represent the themes of social vulnerability, maintaining the robustness and composition of the index in all cases.- Not all statistical services in each country make the entire census available using a simple database or accessible format. This fact makes accessing and post-processing of data difficult. Some countries do not even make censuses open and available online. Nonetheless, new techniques of data extraction have been implemented so indexes are built with the most reliable and recent sets of data.- Accessing the most recent data from national censuses can be difficult. Some census data can be as old as early 2000’s and late 1990’s. The use of old data must be considered with caution as final results may be skewed. Keeping information of up-to-date country statistics may provide proxies of specific indicators, for example the total population and employment rate can be updated on a yearly basis for some countries. However, processing quantities using data from different time periods can drastically change the unit of measure of comparable values so special care is fundamental when doing so. The GEM social vulnerability team has been overcoming the challenges presented, and we keep improving data collection for index construction. We are also proud to produce and make available to the public the subnational social vulnerability databases and indices. The work is fundamental and a pivotal component for other risk information products developed at GEM. GALLERY No images found. RELATED CONTENTS 1/0

  • Swiss Re-GEM partnership aims to build insurance loss models using GEM’s OpenQuake and global databases

    Latest News Swiss Re-GEM partnership aims to build insurance loss models using GEM’s OpenQuake and global databases READ MORE Photo caption: ​ GALLERY RELATED CONTENTS RELATED CONTENTS ​ Global reinsurer Swiss Re has joined GEM as Advisor Sponsor. The sponsorship came on the heels of a successful pilot project with Swiss Re Institute and its Cat Perils unit to improve GEM’s hazard model for Italy using the OpenQuake engine for Swiss Re’s in-house model development. The project -- based on the SHARE European earthquake hazard model -- was successfully completed in September 2019 and set the basis for the Swiss Re sponsorship. ​ With this renewed collaboration, Swiss Re will continue to use GEM datasets on exposure and vulnerability for reference, and work on integrating the OQ engine together with GEM and publicly available OQ hazard models in their model development process. ​ "Swiss Re shares GEM's vision of a world more resilient to natural catastrophes and we're proud to support this truly global initiative. GEM provides state-of-the-art science and software tools and has become a valuable forum for open collaboration within the risk assessment community. By using the same open software for common tasks, the community can focus its efforts on analyzing and improving data and models. We believe that the pioneering work done by GEM will lead to a new era of collaboration and transparency on seismic hazard and risk assessment." Michael Ewald, Earthquake Perils Lead at Swiss Re Institute. ​ “An important part of GEM’s evolving journey is to turn GEM models into products useful for the insurance industry. With this collaboration, GEM will not only have the opportunity to develop products for the insurance sector but also demonstrate that it can be done in a mutually beneficial way,” John Schneider, Secretary General, on partnering with Swiss Re for insurance loss modelling. ​ A partnership built from past successes Swiss Re Foundation, a separate legal entity of Swiss Re Group, funded the South America Risk Assessment (SARA) project implemented collaboratively by GEM from 2013-2015. It focused mainly on risk assessment capacity development in South America. Local experts and stakeholders with GEM scientists and engineers carried out activities such as compilation of earthquake catalogues, creation of risk metrics and country risk profiles, and estimation of social vulnerability using GEM tools and products. ​ Recently, a successful pilot project for Italy to improve GEM’s hazard module using the OpenQuake engine for Swiss Re’s in-house model development was completed in September. ​ Way forward Swiss Re, Hannover Re and GEM are currently collaborating on a pilot project to implement national and regional GEM models in the OASIS loss modelling framework for risk quantification and a transparent approach in loss estimation using GEM models and tools. The goal is to bring the models up to industry standards and to have a market-ready model by Spring of 2020. ​ About Swiss Re Swiss Re Group is one of the world’s leading providers of reinsurance, insurance and other forms of insurance-based risk transfer, working to make the world more resilient. ​ Its distinct mission: Together, we apply fresh perspectives, knowledge and capital to anticipate and manage risk, in order to create smarter solutions for our clients, helping the world rebuild, renew and move forward. Today 75% of insurance risks – from natural catastrophes and climate change, to ageing populations and cybercrime – remain uninsured. Swiss Re aims to change that. ​ Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, where it was founded in 1863, the Swiss Re Group operates through a network of around 80 offices globally. Its approximately 14,500 employees provide a wide range of technical expertise, enabling the company to develop unique solutions and drive growth. Swiss Re is organised into three Business Units, each with a distinct strategy and set of objectives contributing to the Group’s overall mission. GALLERY No images found. RELATED CONTENTS 1/0

  • METEOR project updates

    Latest News METEOR project updates READ MORE Photo caption: ​ GALLERY RELATED CONTENTS RELATED CONTENTS ​ About 20 project participants from GEM, Tanzania Prime Minister’s Office-Disaster Management Department (DMD), Nepal’s National Society for Earthquake Technology (NSET), British Geological Survey (BGS), Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), ImageCat and the UK’s Office of Policy Management (OPM) participated in the 4th METEOR Project Quarterly Meeting held in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania from 11-15 March. ​ The group discussed the progress of its key objectives covering the delivery and use of open-source national scale datasets for multihazard analysis; uptake of protocols to develop critical exposure information from EO data, and training of end users to utilize and understand hazard and exposure data. GEM, represented by Paul Henshaw, Director of Technology and Development, presented two components: the modelling component to investigate how vulnerability and uncertainty of utilising and integrating data from various sources affect hazard and risk modelling; and the knowledge-sharing component to disseminate to the wider space and the development sectors to ensure that project outcomes will be available to the DRM community in the long term. The meeting was highlighted by the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team’s (HOT) presentation on data collection tools and approach; and the demonstration of data collection by Ramani Huria - a community-based mapping project that began in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, training university students and local community members to create highly accurate maps of the most flood-prone areas of the city. About METEOR METEOR is a 3-year project funded by the UK Space Agency to develop innovative application of Earth Observation (EO) technologies to improve understanding of exposure with a specific focus on the countries of Nepal and Tanzania. For more information, visit the project website at https://www.meteor-project.org/ . GALLERY No images found. RELATED CONTENTS 1/8

  • OQ Engine used in a nuclear SHA project

    Latest News OQ Engine used in a nuclear SHA project READ MORE Photo caption: ​ GALLERY RELATED CONTENTS RELATED CONTENTS ​ It is well acknowledged that some facilities, such as the nuclear ones, require particular caution when it comes to the calculation of levels of ground motion to be used for design and risk assessment. In other words, the calculation process for an area selected to host nuclear facilities should comply with some specific requirements in terms of Quality Assurance, along the same line of what is achieved in the model building process through the application of the procedure proposed by the SSHAC (Senior Seismic Hazard Analysis Committee that developed SSHAC guidelines which can be used in the development of PSHA input models or in PSHA studies). Taking as a case study the Thyspunt site in South Africa, where Eskom is planning to build some nuclear power plants, a group of scientists including two members of the GEM hazard team proposed a procedure based on the use of the OpenQuake Engine guaranteeing that minimum quality levels in the calculation of hazard are met. They carried out a study to verify the original logic tree calculations and to compare them against the ones obtained with a different software and an independent implementation. After a wide range of tests, the OQ Engine was able to effectively mimic calculations performed by the previous software proving the reproducibility of original calculations and the consistency between its results and the ones computed with the initial software. The result, besides being an international validation of the OpenQuake-engine, represents an interesting contribution in the field of nuclear applications. It demonstrates quality and effectiveness of the testing process adopted by the development team in the implementation of hazard models as well as in the implementation of the software itself. GALLERY No images found. RELATED CONTENTS 1/0

  • Global Instrumental Earthquake Catalogue (1900 - 2009) (v.2014)

    Please fill in the form below to download or view the document. Thank you. Global Instrumental Earthquake Catalogue (1900 - 2009) (v.2014) Product Additional Requests Sector arrow&v I have read and agree to comply with the license terms of this product, and the conditions of products use. Reset fields Submit Download Thank you. Please click Download to get your item. Provide feedback to GEM on the use and impact of the product e.g. feedback survey. Share with GEM where the product was used i.e. research, publications or projects.

  • GEM case studies on risk analytics capacity and seismic hazard assessment featured in milestone IDF report

    Latest News GEM case studies on risk analytics capacity and seismic hazard assessment featured in milestone IDF report READ MORE Photo caption: ​ GALLERY RELATED CONTENTS RELATED CONTENTS ​ The Development of Risk Analytics report released by the Insurance Development Forum on October 20th highlights many aspects of GEM’s work including in Chapter 4: “Benefits of building local risk analytics capacity”. GEM contributed two case studies - Building local risk understanding in South America (Case Study 2) and Armenia Seismic Hazard Assessment (Case Study 4). The case studies demonstrated open sharing of research and transparent communication which are essential to developing trust and local ownership; and clear methodology linking to international standards and best practice. “This report builds the case for collaboration to build capacity in vulnerable countries for risk analytics by openly sharing models, tools and data through partnerships between public and private sectors, between international and local experts, and between data/model providers and users. This approach is essential to building the trust necessary for local ownership of risk information and ensuring its use to reduce risk and save lives,” John Schneider, GEM Secretary General. The report also has several important mentions of GEM and its collaborators, and contains a number of messages supporting the collaborative, open approach to hazard and risk assessment that GEM has been a leader in for the past decade. It also featured images from GEM such as the OpenQuake training workshop in Medellin in 2017, and the 2-page spread (p. 54-55) of the 3D GEM map of exposure and hazard in Asia, presented as a poster in the Global Earthquake Hazard and Risk Model launch. The report is endorsed by the insurance industry through the IDF and the UN through UNDP and UNDRR. To get a copy of the report, visit https://www.globalquakemodel.org/GEMNews/idf-report-oct-2020 . GALLERY No images found. RELATED CONTENTS 1/3

  • Seismic Hazard, Risk, and Design for South America

    Publications SHORT INTRO We calculate seismic hazard, risk, and design criteria across South America using the latest data, models, and methods to support public officials, scientists, and engineers in earthquake risk mitigation efforts. Updated continental scale seismic hazard models [..] ALL DETAILS Seismic Hazard, Risk, and Design for South America Please fill in the form below to download or view the document. Thank you. page Seismic Hazard, Risk, and Design for South America Additional Requests Provide feedback to GEM on the use and impact of the product e.g. feedback survey. Share with GEM where the product was used i.e. research, publications or projects. Reset fields Submit Download Thank you. Please click "download" button to get your item. I have read and agree to comply with the license terms of this product, and the conditions of products use. Sector arrow&v