What is the Earthquake Risk Model (EQRM)

The 1989 Newcastle, NSW, earthquake demonstrated that earthquakes in Australia can result in significant losses to our communities, in terms of both human losses and damage to the built environment. To model (estimate) impacts on communities from earthquakes, Geoscience Australia has developed the Earthquake Risk Model (EQRM) which can simulate the estimated ground-shaking from earthquakes of a given magnitude and location (earthquake hazard), and subsequently calculate the impact to a portfolio of buildings (earthquake risk).

Modelling earthquake hazard involves assessing the probability that certain levels of ground shaking will be exceeded over a given period of time. Modelling of earthquake risk involves estimating the probability of a building portfolio experiencing a range of earthquake induced losses. Losses to the built environment incurred from earthquakes are dependent on the vulnerability of a structure to strong ground-shaking. For any number of synthetic earthquakes, the EQRM application can be used to estimate:

  • the ground motion and its likelihood of occurrence
  • the direct financial loss and its likelihood of occurrence.

The EQRM application is Geoscience Australia's centrepiece for modelling earthquake hazard and risk. Its use formed the basis for Geoscience Australia's reports on Earthquake risk in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie and the Perth regions, for example.