Earthquake risk assessment towards risk management
The earthquake risk is a measure of the probability of earthquake-caused damages in a region within a given time period (usually decades). The risk evaluations performed by our section are based on intensity-based probabilistic seismic hazard assessments combined with different vulnerability models.
These models include the spatial distribution of residential buildings of varying construction and type, as well as the reconstruction costs for such buildings, specified for different municipal structures.
As part of the German Research Network for Natural Disasters (Deutsche Forschungsnetz Naturkatastrophen - DFNK), the risks due to earthquakes, floods and storms were investigated for the Cologne area. After the presentation of the DFNK-results, a first quantitative comparison of different risks was initiated for the city of Cologne under our leadership. Following, this work was continued in close cooperation with the CEDIM-groups “Flooding” and "Storms” to further develop the through DFNK initiated synoptic consideration of natural hazards.
In the framework of the virtual institute CEDIM (Centre for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology), which is run jointly by GFZ Potsdam and Karlsruhe University, the nationwide earthquake hazard was calculated within the project "Risk Map Germany" (“Risikokartierung Deutschland”). Some of the most seismically active areas north of the Alps are located in Germany and in the German border areas. As some of these seismically active zones cover densely populated areas with a large degree of industrialization, a high seismic hazard is combined with a concentration of high values, and therefore seismic risk analyses for the exposed infrastructures are very important.