EQE 681 - Earthquake Risk Assessment

COURSE NO AND TITLE : EQE 681 - Earthquake Risk Assessment

INSTRUCTOR : Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ufuk Hancılar
COURSE OVERVİEW : Assessment of earthquake risk requires a framework which encompasses, in an integrated fashion, seismic hazard assessment, compilation of databases for building stock and infrastructure exposure, and identification of vulnerability characteristics of the exposed inventory as well as of social vulnerabilities. In this course, regional and urban scale risk assessment methods will be taught. Early lectures will be devoted to introduction of general terminology and seismic hazard assessment as for background information. Identification of elements at risk and their classification for inventory database compilation will follow. The main focus of the course will be on building damage assessment and estimation of associated socio-economic losses. Estimation of damage to building stock and of human casualties at different levels of sophistication, starting from the simplest one (direct approach) to the most sophisticated earthquake risk assessment methodology (engineering method), will be taught. For each level of analysis, case study applications with hands-on training will be performed by the available risk assessment software.

1 Introduction

  • General Terminology: Definitions of seismic hazard, vulnerability, fragility, risk, loss.
  • Regional scale and urban scale risk assessments

2 Hazard Assessment and Characterisation of Strong Ground Motion

2.1 Probabilistic hazard assessment

Time-independent and –dependent

Hazard de-aggregation

2.2 Deterministic hazard assessment


2.3 Ground motion intensity measures (IMs)

Macro seismic intensity: MMI, EMS-98 etc.

Instrumental intensity: PGA, PGV, Sa, Sd etc.

Different IMs for different physical elements at risk

2.4 Ground Motion Prediction Equations (GMPEs)

Attributes, uncertainties

Inter- and intra-earthquake variability

2.5 Ground Shaking Maps

Site characterization

Spatial distribution of ground shaking intensity

3 Elements at Risk

3.1 Physical elements

Buildings, lifeline networks (electricity, water and waste-water, gas and oil, telecommunication), transportation infrastructures (bridges, road network), essential facilities (schools, hospitals, etc), industrial elements and historical heritage

3.2 Social elements

Demographic data and associated socio-economic indicators for vulnerability assessment

3.3 Taxonomy definitions

Classification of physical elements at risk on the basis of pre-defined typologies

3.4 Compilation of inventories

Ground surveys, remote sensing techniques, census and owner/operator data, and crowd sourcing.

4 Physical and Socio-Economic Risk Assessment

  • Correlation of ground motion parameters with damage to built environment

4.1 Direct approach

Seismological method, given epicentre and magnitude of the event, estimation of casualties

Case applications

4.2 Regional scale

Intensity-based engineering method, estimation of damages and casualties

Case applications

4.3 Urban scale

Analytical method, spectral capacity-based vulnerability assessment, estimation of damage, casualties and direct economic losses

Case applications

5 Fully Probabilistic Risk Assessment

  • Probability of loss exceedance



DURATION &HOURS PER WEEK : 3 hrs per week / 3+0+0


TARGET AUDIENCE: Earthquake Engineering and Civil Engineering Students

GRADING BASIS : Class attendance, presentations and homework: 40%, term project: 60%.


-   Bozorgnia, Y. & Bertero, V. V. (CRC Press, 2004) Earthquake Engineering - from Engineering Seismology to Performance-Based Engineering.

-   Chen, W.-F. & Scawthorn, C. (CRC Press, 2003) Earthquake Engineering Handbook.

-   Assessing and Managing Earthquake Risk: Oliveira, Carlos Sousa; Roca, Antoni; Goula, Xavier (Eds.) 2006, 2006, XXV, 543 p. ISBN 978-1-4020-3524-1

-   Handbook of seismic risk analysis and management of civil infrastructure systems Edited by S Tesfamariam and K Goda. ISBN 0 85709 268 5.