1. Introduction#

The goal of this manual is to provide a comprehensive and transparent description of the features of the OpenQuake Engine. This manual is designed to be readable by someone with basic understanding of Probabilistic Seismic Hazard and Risk Analysis, but no previous knowledge of the OpenQuake engine is assumed.

The OpenQuake engine is an effort promoted and actively developed by the GEM Foundation, a public-private partnership initiated by the Global Science Forum of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 1.

The OpenQuake engine is the result of an effort carried out jointly by the Information Technology and Scientific teams working at the GEM Foundation Secretariat. It is freely distributed under an Affero GPL license (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/agpl-3.0.html).

1.1. OpenQuake-engine Background#

1.1.1. Overview#

OpenQuake-engine is the seismic hazard and risk calculation software developed by the GEM Foundation. By following current standards in software developments like test-driven development and continuous integration, the OpenQuake engine aims at becoming an open, and community-driven tool for seismic hazard and risk analysis.

The source code of the OpenQuake engine is available on a public web-based repository at the following address: gem/oq-engine.

The OpenQuake engine is available for the Linux, macOS, and Windows platforms. It can be installed in several different ways. The following page provides a handy guide for users to choose the most appropriate installation method depending on their intended use cases:


This user manual is for the command line interface for the OpenQuake engine.

1.1.2. Supplementary resources#

Guidance instructions for using the OpenQuake engine WebUI are available at gem/oq-engine.

A user manual for the QGIS plugin for the OpenQuake engine is available at https://docs.openquake.org/oq-irmt-qgis/latest/. In particular, instructions for using the plugin as an interface for running OpenQuake engine calculations are listed in Chapter 14, and methods for using the plugin for visualization of hazard and risk outputs are listed in Chapter 15.

A manual intended for more advanced users of the OpenQuake engine is available at https://docs.openquake.org/oq-engine/advanced/OpenQuakeforAdvancedUsers.pdf.

Interested users are also encouraged to peruse the OpenQuake Hazard Science and OpenQuake Risk Science books, which provide explanations of the scientific methodologies adopted in the implementation of the earthquake hazard and risk libraries of the OpenQuake engine.

Subscribe to the OpenQuake users mailing list to keep abreast of the latest announcements from the OpenQuake development team, to ask and answer questions related to the OpenQuake engine and participate in the ongoing discussions: https://groups.google.com/g/openquake-users

1.1.3. Launching a calculation#

An OpenQuake engine analysis is launched from the command line of a terminal.

A schematic list of the options that can be used for the execution of the OpenQuake engine can be obtained with the following command:

user@ubuntu:~$ oq engine --help

The result is the following:

usage: oq engine [-h] [--log-file LOG_FILE] [--no-distribute] [-y]
                 [-c CONFIG_FILE] [--make-html-report YYYY-MM-DD|today] [-u]
                 [-d] [-w] [--run JOB_INI [JOB_INI ...]]
                 [--list-hazard-calculations] [--list-risk-calculations]
                 [--delete-calculation CALCULATION_ID]
                 [--hazard-calculation-id HAZARD_CALCULATION_ID]
                 [--list-outputs CALCULATION_ID] [--show-log CALCULATION_ID]
                 [--export-output OUTPUT_ID TARGET_DIR]
                 [--export-outputs CALCULATION_ID TARGET_DIR] [-e]
                 [-l {debug, info, warn, error, critical}] [-r]
                 [--param PARAM]

Run a calculation using the traditional command line API

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  --log-file LOG_FILE, -L LOG_FILE
                        Location where to store log messages; if not
                        specified, log messages will be printed to the console
                        (to stderr)
  --no-distribute, --nd
                        Disable calculation task distribution and run the
                        computation in a single process. This is intended for
                        use in debugging and profiling.
  -y, --yes             Automatically answer "yes" when asked to confirm an
  -c CONFIG_FILE, --config-file CONFIG_FILE
                        Custom openquake.cfg file, to override default
  --make-html-report YYYY-MM-DD|today, --r YYYY-MM-DD|today
                        Build an HTML report of the computation at the given
  -u, --upgrade-db      Upgrade the openquake database
  -d, --db-version      Show the current version of the openquake database
  -w, --what-if-I-upgrade
                        Show what will happen to the openquake database if you
  --run JOB_INI [JOB_INI ...]
                        Run a job with the specified config file
  --list-hazard-calculations, --lhc
                        List hazard calculation information
  --list-risk-calculations, --lrc
                        List risk calculation information
  --delete-calculation CALCULATION_ID, --dc CALCULATION_ID
                        Delete a calculation and all associated outputs
  --delete-uncompleted-calculations, --duc
                        Delete all the uncompleted calculations
                        Use the given job as input for the next job
  --list-outputs CALCULATION_ID, --lo CALCULATION_ID
                        List outputs for the specified calculation
                        Show the log of the specified calculation
                        Export the desired output to the specified directory
                        Export all of the calculation outputs to the specified
  -e, --exports         Comma-separated string specifing the export formats,
                        in order of priority
  -l, --log-level {debug, info, warn, error, critical}
                        Defaults to "info"
  -r, --reuse-input    Read the sources|exposures from the cache (if any)
  --param PARAM, -p PARAM
                        Override parameters specified with the syntax
A short description of the process promoted by OECD is available here: