A probabilistic approach for seismic risk assessment based on vulnerability functions: application to Barcelona
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Risk assessment and management is an important step towards resilient and sustainable cities. Among many other perils, both natural and manmade, seismic risk is a major threat for resilience and sustainability. In recent decades, several methods for seismic risk assessment have been proposed, including the well-known Vulnerability Index Method (VIM). In this study, a probabilistic version of the VIM, which we call the Vulnerability Index Method-Probabilistic (VIM_P), is proposed. The VIM_P requires essential information on the seismic hazard and on the vulnerability of the building stock. Seismic hazard is determined using the exceedance rates of macroseismic intensities, as defined in the European Macroseismic Scale (EMS). Seismic vulnerability is defined by means of vulnerability probability density functions (pdf) that describe the probability distribution of the corresponding vulnerability index. Beta-like functions are used for these pdfs. VIM_P quantifies seismic vulnerability by means of three vulnerability curves, Lower, Best and Upper, according to the quantity and quality of available information, thus allowing three estimates of seismic vulnerability and risk. Then, seismic risk is computed via the convolution of seismic hazard and seismic vulnerability, considering semi-empirical damage functions. Seismic risk is given through the exceedance frequencies of the damage grades. To highlight the capabilities of the VIM_P, the seismic risk of about 70,000 residential buildings in Barcelona was assessed. According to the results, the exceedance frequency of the collapse damage state for more than the 50% of the buildings in the Eixample district would be greater than 1 × 10-5. This confirms the relatively high seismic risk in the city, mainly due to the high vulnerability of the built environment. Specific software, USERISK20015, has been developed for routine applications of VIM_P. It is hoped that VIM_P and this new tool for seismic risk assessment will be useful to stakeholders and civil protection authorities for risk management and prioritizing actions that can help to create more resilient, sustainable cities.
The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10518-018-0516-4
CitationMeléndez, A. [et al.]. A probabilistic approach for seismic risk assessment based on vulnerability functions: application to Barcelona. "Bulletin of earthquake engineering", Abril 2019, vol. 17, núm. 4, p. 1863-1890.