Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering

, Volume 16, Issue 9, pp 3687–3720 | Cite as

Damage classification and derivation of damage probability matrices from L’Aquila (2009) post-earthquake survey data

  • A. Rosti
  • M. Rota
  • A. Penna
Original Research Paper


Post-earthquake damage data represent an invaluable source of information for the seismic vulnerability assessment of the exposed building stock, as they are a direct evidence of the actual buildings’ performance under real seismic events. This paper exploits a robust and homogeneous database of damage data collected after the 2009 L’Aquila (Italy) earthquake, to derive damage probability matrices for several building typologies representative of the Italian building stock. To this aim, the first part of the work investigates several issues related to the definition of damage to be associated with each inspected building. Different approaches and damage conversion rules are applied, pointing out advantages and weaknesses of each one. Considering the widespread seismic damage observed on masonry infill panels and partitions of reinforced concrete constructions, the impact of this type of non-structural damage on empirical damage and functional loss distributions is explored. The second part of the study proposes different possible interpretations of the repartition of the observed damage in the different damage levels, showing in some cases a bimodal trend. Two novel hybrid procedures are outlined and compared with the classical binomial approach for predicting the subdivision of damage in the different levels. The application of the proposed methodologies to the different building typologies allows the selection, for each one, of the method providing the best fit to empirical results. The parameters required for the application of the optimal approach are reported in the paper, so that results can be used for forecasting the expected seismic damage in sites with similar seismic hazard and exposed buildings.


Empirical seismic vulnerability Damage probability matrices Damage and usability assessment Pre-existing damage Binomial distribution 



This work was carried out with the financial support of the Department of Civil Protection, within several operational research projects of Eucentre and Reluis. The authors would also like to acknowledge the Italian Department of Civil Protection for providing post-earthquake field surveys damage data.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ROSE Programme, UME SchoolIUSSPaviaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Civil Engineering and ArchitectureUniversity of PaviaPaviaItaly
  3. 3.EUCENTRE FoundationPaviaItaly

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