Multi-hazard risk assessment for infrastructure / ground engineering projects
PI: Walker, Richard
Department: Earth Sciences
A lack of underpinning data on earthquake and related hazards in many parts of the world leads to inadequate ground engineering mitigations, as existing approaches focus either on the very large (continental) scale with necessarily sparse detail, or at very detailed scales that may miss important nearby hazards. We identify need for a mid-scale product, in which satellite data and advanced data analysis tools are used to build input data at appropriate spatial scale. We will partner with the GEM Foundation, a global leader in the development of hazard and risk products for sectors ranging from insurance, engineering, development, non-governmental and governmental sectors. GEM offers substantial in-kind support through training on their Openquake hazard and risk modelling software, and technical/strategic advice. We will use existing metrics/research outputs from remote-sensing combined with computational/machine learning methods to build a workflow and software tools to model multi-hazard risk with sufficient detail and over sufficiently large areal extent, that can be applied at the planning stage of future infrastructure projects. We propose the South Caucasus corridor between Azerbaijan and Turkey, sometimes referred to as 'the middle corridor' between Asia and European markets, as a proof of concept. This is due to our existing research there, the wide interactions of infrastructure and geohazards, and the ability to compare our approach to existing methods applied by BP (operator of transnational gas pipelines in the region, who have kindly offered to discuss their own risk assessment protocols with us, allowing for additional levels of validation). Our team has extensive experience in earthquake hazard (Walker) and landsliding/ground stability (Hilton). The project will operate through an outward secondment of an Oxford researcher, Ben Johnson, who has the necessary technical computing and remote sensing skills and a track record in earthquake hazards.