We present an Atlas of ShakeMaps and a catalog of human population exposures to moderate-to-strong ground shaking (EXPO-CAT) for recent historical earthquakes (1973-2007). The common purpose of the Atlas and exposure catalog is to calibrate earthquake loss models to be used in the US Geological Survey's Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response (PAGER). The full ShakeMap Atlas currently comprises over 5,600 earthquakes from January 1973 through December 2007, with almost 500 of these maps constrained-to varying degrees-by instrumental ground motions, macroseismic intensity data, community internet intensity observations, and published earthquake rupture models. The catalog of human exposures is derived using current PAGER methodologies. Exposure to discrete levels of shaking intensity is obtained by correlating Atlas ShakeMaps with a global population database. Combining this population exposure dataset with historical earthquake loss data, such as PAGER-CAT, provides a useful resource for calibrating loss methodologies against a systematically-derived set of ShakeMap hazard outputs. We illustrate two example uses for EXPO-CAT; (1) simple objective ranking of country vulnerability to earthquakes, and; (2) the influence of time-of-day on earthquake mortality. In general, we observe that countries in similar geographic regions with similar construction practices tend to cluster spatially in terms of relative vulnerability. We also find little quantitative evidence to suggest that time-of-day is a significant factor in earthquake mortality. Moreover, earthquake mortality appears to be more systematically linked to the population exposed to severe ground shaking (Modified Mercalli Intensity VIII+). Finally, equipped with the full Atlas of ShakeMaps, we merge each of these maps and find the maximum estimated peak ground acceleration at any grid point in the world for the past 35 years. We subsequently compare this "composite ShakeMap" with existing global hazard models, calculating the spatial area of the existing hazard maps exceeded by the combined ShakeMap ground motions. In general, these analyses suggest that existing global, and regional, hazard maps tend to overestimate hazard. Both the Atlas of ShakeMaps and EXPO-CAT have many potential uses for examining earthquake risk and epidemiology. All of the datasets discussed herein are available for download on the PAGER Web page ( http://earthquake.usgs.gov/ eqcenter/pager/prodandref/ ). ?? 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Additional publication details
An Atlas of ShakeMaps and population exposure catalog for earthquake loss modeling