We have described the compilation and contents of PAGER-CAT, an earthquake catalog developed principally for calibrating earthquake fatality models. It brings together information from a range of sources in a comprehensive, easy to use digital format. Earthquake source information (e.g., origin time, hypocenter, and magnitude) contained in PAGER-CAT has been used to develop an Atlas of Shake Maps of historical earthquakes (Allen et al. 2008) that can subsequently be used to estimate the population exposed to various levels of ground shaking (Wald et al. 2008). These measures will ultimately yield improved earthquake loss models employing the uniform hazard mapping methods of ShakeMap. Currently PAGER-CAT does not consistently contain indicators of landslide and liquefaction occurrence prior to 1973. In future PAGER-CAT releases we plan to better document the incidence of these secondary hazards. This information is contained in some existing global catalogs but is far from complete and often difficult to parse. Landslide and liquefaction hazards can be important factors contributing to earthquake losses (e.g., Marano et al. unpublished). Consequently, the absence of secondary hazard indicators in PAGER-CAT, particularly for events prior to 1973, could be misleading to sorne users concerned with ground-shaking-related losses. We have applied our best judgment in the selection of PAGER-CAT's preferred source parameters and earthquake effects. We acknowledge the creation of a composite catalog always requires subjective decisions, but we believe PAGER-CAT represents a significant step forward in bringing together the best available estimates of earthquake source parameters and reports of earthquake effects. All information considered in PAGER-CAT is stored as provided in its native catalog so that other users can modify PAGER preferred parameters based on their specific needs or opinions. As with all catalogs, the values of some parameters listed in PAGER-CAT are highly uncertain, particularly the casualty numbers, which must be regarded as estimates rather than firm numbers for many earthquakes. Consequently, we encourage contributions from the seismology and earthquake engineering communities to further improve this resource via the Wikipedia page and personal communications, for the benefit of the whole community.
Additional publication details
PAGER-CAT: A composite earthquake catalog for calibrating global fatality models