Natural Hazards

, Volume 72, Issue 3, pp 1409–1427 | Cite as

Development of the OpenQuake engine, the Global Earthquake Model’s open-source software for seismic risk assessment

  • Vitor Silva
  • Helen Crowley
  • Marco Pagani
  • Damiano Monelli
  • Rui Pinho
Original Paper


The Global Earthquake Model aims to combine the main features of state-of-the-art science, global collaboration and buy-in, transparency and openness in an initiative to calculate and communicate earthquake risk worldwide. One of the first steps towards this objective has been the open-source development and release of software for seismic hazard and risk assessment called the OpenQuake engine. This software comprises a set of calculators capable of computing human or economic losses for a collection of assets, caused by a given scenario event, or by considering the probability of all possible events that might happen within a region within a certain time span. This paper provides an insight into the current status of the development of this tool and presents a comprehensive description of each calculator, with example results.


Seismic hazard Seismic risk Loss assessment Open-source 



The authors would like to acknowledge the significant contribution of Joshua McKenty in the design of the architecture of the OpenQuake engine, and for strictly instilling open-source practices within the development team. Discussions with a number of individuals (Keith Porter, Mario Ordaz, Paolo Bazzurro, Nico Luco) have also been central to the development of many of the features of the OpenQuake engine’s scientific libraries. The authors would also like to thank Graeme Weatherill and Paul Henshaw for their advice during the drafting of the manuscript and support in the various calculations.


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Web references

  1. Global earthquake model—
  2. SELENA——developed by the Norwegian seismic array (NORSAR) in Kjeller, Norway
  3. EQRM——developed by the Geoscience Australia (GA) in Canberra, Australia
  4. ELER——developed by the Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute (KOERI) in Istanbul, Turkey
  5. QLARM——developed by the World Agency of Planetary Monitoring and Earthquake Risk Reduction (WAPMERR) in Geneva, Switzerland
  6. CEDIM——developed by the Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology (CEDIM) in Potsdam, Germany
  7. CAPRA——Central America Probabilistic Risk Analysis, an initiative from the World Bank
  8. RiskScape——developed by the Geological and Nuclear Sciences (GNS) in Lower Hutt, New Zealand
  9. LNECLoss——developed by the Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil (LNEC) in Lisbon, Portugal
  10. MAEviz——developed by the Mid-America Earthquake Center (MAE Center) in Illinois, USA
  11. OpenRisk——developed by the Scawthorn, Porter and Associates (SPA Risk)
  12. Celery project—
  13. RabbitMQ project—
  14. OpenQuake engine repository—

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vitor Silva
    • 1
  • Helen Crowley
    • 1
  • Marco Pagani
    • 1
  • Damiano Monelli
    • 2
  • Rui Pinho
    • 1
  1. 1.GEM FoundationPaviaItaly
  2. 2.Swiss Seismological ServiceETHZurichSwitzerland

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