Articles | Volume 10, issue 12
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 10, 2697–2712, 2010
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 10, 2697–2712, 2010

Research article 22 Dec 2010

Research article | 22 Dec 2010

Scenario-based earthquake hazard and risk assessment for Baku (Azerbaijan)

G. Babayev1, A. Ismail-Zadeh2,3,4, and J.-L. Le Mouël3 G. Babayev et al.
  • 1Institute of Geology, National Academy of Sciences, Baku, Azerbaijan
  • 2Geophysikalisches Institut, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 3Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, Paris, France
  • 4International Institute of Earthquake Prediction Theory and Mathematical Geophysics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

Abstract. A rapid growth of population, intensive civil and industrial building, land and water instabilities (e.g. landslides, significant underground water level fluctuations), and the lack of public awareness regarding seismic hazard contribute to the increase of vulnerability of Baku (the capital city of the Republic of Azerbaijan) to earthquakes. In this study, we assess an earthquake risk in the city determined as a convolution of seismic hazard (in terms of the surface peak ground acceleration, PGA), vulnerability (due to building construction fragility, population features, the gross domestic product per capita, and landslide's occurrence), and exposure of infrastructure and critical facilities. The earthquake risk assessment provides useful information to identify the factors influencing the risk. A deterministic seismic hazard for Baku is analysed for four earthquake scenarios: near, far, local, and extreme events. The seismic hazard models demonstrate the level of ground shaking in the city: PGA high values are predicted in the southern coastal and north-eastern parts of the city and in some parts of the downtown. The PGA attains its maximal values for the local and extreme earthquake scenarios. We show that the quality of buildings and the probability of their damage, the distribution of urban population, exposure, and the pattern of peak ground acceleration contribute to the seismic risk, meanwhile the vulnerability factors play a more prominent role for all earthquake scenarios. Our results can allow elaborating strategic countermeasure plans for the earthquake risk mitigation in the Baku city.