Extreme-Scale Simulations for Advanced Seismic Ground Motion and Hazard Modeling

PI Name: 
Christine Goulet
University of Southern California
Allocation Program: 
Allocation Hours at ALCF: 
1.62 Million
Research Domain: 
Earth Science

Accurate seismic hazard assessment helps inform and prepare society for earthquakes, enabling the development of design and mitigation strategies that save lives in the event of a major earthquake. The advancement of earthquake modeling and simulations is critical to reducing uncertainties and improving the accuracy of seismic hazard assessments.

With this INCITE project, researchers from the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) will enhance their earthquake simulation and hazard mapping tools to provide the best possible information in terms of earthquake ground motion and seismic hazard assessment. Specifically, they plan to extend their software ecosystem, including CyberShake, to the next level of fidelity by advancing its capabilities to resolve shaking estimates and related uncertainties across a broadband range of frequencies of engineering interest (i.e., 0–20 Hz).

To enable the computation of broadband seismic hazard maps, the team will improve their computational codes’ ability to accurately simulate high-frequency shaking. This effort requires the integration of new and improved simulation elements to model topography, realistic material inelasticities, and the stochastic representation of the heterogeneous portions of the Earth’s crustal structure. It will also require the development of new processing workflows to address the added complexity. Furthermore, the team will gradually expand the geographical extent of their model to cover a larger portion of the U.S. West Coast. The larger simulation domains, higher resolution grids, and new physics models implemented in their codes will pose new challenges that can only be addressed with DOE’s leadership-scale computing resources.

The modeling enhancements in the SCEC software ecosystem will increase the accuracy of simulations, reduce scientific uncertainties, and broaden the usefulness of these software tools in engineering applications.