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Assessing Regional Earthquake Risk and Hazards in the Age of Exascale


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Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories are constructing the first-ever end-to-end simulation code to capture the geology and physics of regional earthquakes, and characterize how tremors affect buildings, as part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Exascale Computing Project. "Our approach is to apply geophysical research to supercomputer simulations and accurately model the underlying physics of these processes," says Berkeley Lab's David McCallen.

McCallen says the team is updating the current SW4 code, which models seismic wave propagation. The researchers are developing a methodology that employs discretization, assigning a set of geologic properties to billions of zones on Earth while simulations calculate each zone's surface motion.

The team says they successfully simulated a 6.5-magnitude quake at 3-hertz in about 12 hours on a supercomputer, and they want future exascale systems to run the same model at 5-hertz to 10-hertz resolution in about five hours or less.

From Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
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