Journal cover Journal topic
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/nhess-2016-281
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
15 Sep 2016
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper was accepted for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS) and is expected to appear here in due course.
Evaluating Simplified Methods for Liquefaction Assessment for Loss Estimation
Indranil Kongar1, Tiziana Rossetto1, and Sonia Giovinazzi2 1Earthquake and People Interaction Centre (EPICentre), Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, University College London, London, WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom
2Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, 8140, New Zealand
Abstract. Currently, catastrophe models used by the insurance industry account for liquefaction simply by applying a factor to shaking-induced losses based on local liquefaction susceptibility so there is a need more sophisticated approach to incorporating the effects of liquefaction in loss models is needed. This study compares eleven unique models, each based on one of three principal simplified liquefaction assessment methodologies: liquefaction potential index (LPI) calculated from shear-wave velocity; the HAZUS software methodology; and a methodology created specifically to make use of USGS remote sensing data. Data from the September 2010 Darfield and February 2011 Christchurch earthquakes in New Zealand are used to compare observed liquefaction occurrences to predictions from these models using binary classification performance measures. The analysis shows that the best performing model is the LPI calculated using known shear-wave velocity profiles, although this data may not always be available to insurers. The next best model is also based on LPI, but uses shear-wave velocity profiles simulated from the combination of USGS VS30 data and empirical functions that relate VS30 to average shear-wave velocities at shallower depths. This model is useful for insurance since the input data is publicly available. This paper also considers two models (HAZUS and EPOLLS) for prediction of the scale of liquefaction in terms of permanent ground deformation but finds that both models perform poorly and thus potentially provide negligible additional value to loss estimation analysis outside of the regions for which they have been developed.

Citation: Kongar, I., Rossetto, T., and Giovinazzi, S.: Evaluating Simplified Methods for Liquefaction Assessment for Loss Estimation, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., doi:10.5194/nhess-2016-281, in review, 2016.
Indranil Kongar et al.
Indranil Kongar et al.
Indranil Kongar et al.

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Short summary
The purpose of this research is to evaluate the predictive capability of simplified liquefaction models that can be applied across wide geographical areas for insurance and risk management purposes. Predictions from nine models are compared to observations from the Canterbury earthquake sequence and finds that models based on a previously proposed Liquefaction Potential Index perform the best, whilst the commonly used HAZUS methodology does not perform well.
The purpose of this research is to evaluate the predictive capability of simplified liquefaction...
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