Seismic Risk

Teaching Team

  • Donat Fäh (Seismology) - MODULE RESPONSIBLE
  • Blaise Duvernay (Vulnerability)

About the Seismic Risk module

The Seismic module is divided into two parts: seismology, and seismic vulnerability and loss modelling.

The Seismology part is a general introduction to the methods of seismic hazard analysis. In the course it is explained how the disciplines of seismology, geology, strong-motion geophysics, and earthquake engineering contribute to the evaluation of seismic hazard. It provides an overview of the input data and the tools in deterministic and probabilistic seismic hazard assessment, and discusses the related uncertainties. The course includes the discussion related to Intensity and macroseismic scales, historical seismicity and earthquake catalogues, ground motion parameters used in earthquake engineering, definitions of the seismic source, magnitude scales, ground motion attenuation, site effects and microzonation, and the use of numerical tools to estimate ground motion parameters, both in a deterministic and probabilistic sense. Secondary effects such as liquefaction of soils, the triggering of landslides and tsunami generation will be discussed as well. During the course recent earthquakes and their impacts are discussed and related to existing hazard assessments for the areas of interest.

The Seismic Vulnerability & Loss Modeling part of the course provides an overview of the different factors affecting the seismic vulnerability of buildings and infrastructures and gives an insight in how earthquake loss models work. In the first half of this module, general principles for a good seismic design of buildings and examples of what happens if these principles are not followed will be discussed. The level of complexity is adapted so that “non-engineers” will easily understand the topic. Students will put their knowledge into practice through the evaluation of the seismic vulnerability of existing buildings based on architectural plans. In the second half of the module students will learn about the structure of earthquake loss models and will use a simple generic earthquake loss model in an exercise. A one day field trip will follow the one day course. The field trip will be focused on the visit of seismic retrofitting projects and on the evaluation of the seismic vulnerability of buildings using street survey techniques.

Related Links


Seismic Vulnerability