Articles | Volume 6, issue 4
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 6, 573–586, 2006

Special issue: Methods for risk assessment and mapping in Germany

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 6, 573–586, 2006

  29 Jun 2006

29 Jun 2006

Seismic risk mapping for Germany

S. Tyagunov1,3, G. Grünthal2, R. Wahlström2,3, L. Stempniewski1, and J. Zschau2 S. Tyagunov et al.
  • 1University of Karlsruhe (TH), Kaiserstrasse 12, 76128 Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 2GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
  • 3Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology (CEDIM), Am Fasanengarten, 76128 Karlsruhe, Germany

Abstract. The aim of this study is to assess and map the seismic risk for Germany, restricted to the expected losses of damage to residential buildings. There are several earthquake prone regions in the country which have produced Mw magnitudes above 6 and up to 6.7 corresponding to observed ground shaking intensity up to VIII–IX (EMS-98). Combined with the fact that some of the earthquake prone areas are densely populated and highly industrialized and where therefore the hazard coincides with high concentration of exposed assets, the damaging implications from earthquakes must be taken seriously. In this study a methodology is presented and pursued to calculate the seismic risk from (1) intensity based probabilistic seismic hazard, (2) vulnerability composition models, which are based on the distribution of residential buildings of various structural types in representative communities and (3) the distribution of assets in terms of replacement costs for residential buildings. The estimates of the risk are treated as primary economic losses due to structural damage to residential buildings. The obtained results are presented as maps of the damage and risk distributions. For a probability level of 90% non-exceedence in 50 years (corresponding to a mean return period of 475 years) the mean damage ratio is up to 20% and the risk up to hundreds of millions of euro in the most endangered communities. The developed models have been calibrated with observed data from several damaging earthquakes in Germany and the nearby area in the past 30 years.