Journal of Seismology

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 299–310

Estimating the confidence of earthquake damage scenarios: examples from a logic tree approach

Original Article


Earthquake loss estimation is now becoming an important tool in mitigation planning, where the loss modeling usually is based on a parameterized mathematical representation of the damage problem. In parallel with the development and improvement of such models, the question of sensitivity to parameters that carry uncertainties becomes increasingly important. We have to this end applied the capacity spectrum method (CSM) as described in FEMA HAZUS-MH. Multi-hazard Loss Estimation Methodology, Earthquake Model, Advanced Engineering Building Module. Federal Emergency Management Agency, United States (2003), and investigated the effects of selected parameters. The results demonstrate that loss scenarios may easily vary by as much as a factor of two because of simple parameter variations. Of particular importance for the uncertainty is the construction quality of the structure. These results represent a warning against simple acceptance of unbounded damage scenarios and strongly support the development of computational methods in which parameter uncertainties are propagated through the computations to facilitate confidence bounds for the damage scenarios.


Seismic risk Vulnerability Damage scenarios Uncertainties Capacity spectrum method 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Ciencias de la Tierra y del Medio Ambiente, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad de AlicanteAlicanteSpain
  2. 2.NORSAR/ICGKjellerNorway

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