NYCEM New York City Consortium for Earthquake Loss Mitigation



Research Activities



New York City Area Consortium for Earthquake Loss Mitigation (NYCEM): Research Activities

Summary of Year One Activities:

In Year One, a number of parallel activities were carried out to initiate research efforts to contribute to the HAZUS database, and to develop some educational outreach approaches to the New York metropolitan community. After a number of initial meetings, it was decided to limit the study area to Manhattan below 59th Street. This decision helped to focus data collection efforts on a smaller area, but has allowed for collection of enough field data to assess the goodness-of-fit of default data within the HAZUS program when used for New York City.

Research Activities. The NYCEM first year project had three research-oriented components, as shown below, and a fourth outreach component : 

  1. Klaus Jacob of Lamont -Doherty Earth Observatory  focused on Site Conditions Affecting Earthquake Loss Estimates for NYC

  2. Guy Nordenson, George Deodatis and Michael Tantala of Princeton  University prepared  an Earthquake Loss Estimation Study for The New York City Area.

  3. George Mylonakis and a team of students from City University of New York assisted the Princeton effort in field validation of building inventory data. This was reported in  Development of a Building Inventory for Manhattan Region.  

Also, under a separate funding stream, similar inventory development and ground motion characterization has been initiated for Newark, New Jersey and Westchester County, New York. The New York City, New York State, and New Jersey efforts are distinctly different in terms of predominant building stocks, the degree of availability of pre-existing sources of georeferenced data, and to a lesser extent, geology, but have issues in common in terms of work with the HAZUS software and its default datasets, data acquisition, and management. Through the Executive Committee, the separate efforts are coordinated, with a long-range objective for more extensive linkages between them as works progress.

Summary of Year Two Activities

Research Activities. Second year efforts at Lamont Doherty will continue to be focused on the southern half of Manhattan. Objectives will be to:

  • densify the number of borings used per census tract to increase reliability
  • find, if possible, one representative boring for those tracts not covered before
  • integrate the information on depth to bedrock from various sources
  • recompute the NEHRP site categories with bedrock shear velocities greater than 5,000 ft/sec.

Additional data sources will be identified to supplement the present holdings of boring data provided by New York City Department of Design and Construction.

Second year efforts at Princeton will incorporate new building inventory data sets to be verified by a series of site visits in selected areas in Manhattan below 59th Street. Representative commercial and residential areas in Manhattan will be selected for this purpose. In addition, particular emphasis will be place on collecting information and assessing vulnerability of critical facilities such as schools, hospitals, police stations, fire stations, Language Educational Centres for people to Learn English in New York, etc.

The overall objective for Year Two is the estimate of loss for the southern Manhattan study area using improved estimates of building stock and local soil conditions.

Princeton and Lamont will work closely together in developing these improvements.


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Last modified: 12/22/2003 4:19:33 PM