SCEC Glossary


Term Definition
ABF averaging-based factorization
AC Advisory Council; external advisory body to SCEC comprised of representatives from all aspects of SCEC activities, including basic and applied earthquake research and related technical disciplines, formal and informal education, and public outreach
ACI Advanced Cyberinfrastructure
AD Associate Director (for Administration; for Communication, Education, and Outreach; for Information Technology); SCEC staff leadership at headquarters located at the University of Southern California
AGU American Geophysical Union; an international scientific society of over 60,000 engaged in gaining understanding about the Earth, oceans, atmosphere, space, and planets for the benefit of humanity
ALCF Argonne Leadership Computing Facility; one half of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Leadership Computing Facility, which deploys two diverse high-performance computer architectures that are 10 to 100 times more powerful than typical research computing systems (one at Argonne National Laboratory and one at Oak Ridge National Laboratory), made available to researchers through computer allocations programs supported by DOE and Argonne
ALLCAL an earthquake simulator, developed by SCEC researcher Steven N. Ward; participating in the Earthquake Simulators Comparison Project, a SCEC Technical Activity Group activity
AMR adaptive mesh refinement; method of adapting the accuracy of a solution within certain sensitive or turbulent regions of simulation, dynamically and during the time the solution is being calculated
ANL Argonne National Laboratory; operates one of the fastest supercomputers in the world (Mira, a 10-petaflops IBM Blue Gene/Q system, capable of 10 quadrillion calculations per second)
ANSS Advanced National Seismic System; provides accurate and timely data and information products for seismic events, including their effects on buildings and structures, employing modern monitoring methods and technologies; includes a national Backbone network, the National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC), the National Strong Motion Project, and 15 regional seismic networks operated by USGS and its partners.
API application program interface; a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications
ASCE 7-10 standards for Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures, established and published by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2013
AWP-ODC anelastic wave propagation code developed SCEC researchers Kim B. Olsen, Steven M. Day, and Yifeng Cui (ODC); a highly scalable, parallel earthquake wave propagation code that generates realistic dynamic earthquake source description and detailed physics-based anelastic ground motions at frequencies pertinent to safe building design and enables petascale 3D earthquake calculations
BBP Broadband Platform; simulation platform developed by SCEC to simulate ground motion from finite faults for frequencies up to 100 Hz using different methods
CalOES California Office of Emergency Services
Caltech California Institute of Technology, a SCEC core institution
CCSP Central California Seismic Project; a partnership between SCEC and Pacific Gas & Electric Company to use the central coast region of California as a testbed for developing and validating new physics-based ground-motion forecasting models; with goal to assess the effectiveness of seismic wavefield modeling in reducing the epistemic uncertainties in path effects that control hazard estimates at low exceedance probabilities
CDF Computable Document Format; self-describing data format for the storage of scalar and multidimensional data in a platform- and discipline-independent way
CDM Crustal Deformation Modeling
CEA California Earthquake Authority
CEETEP Cascadia EarthScope Earthquake and Tsunami Education Program
CENA Central and Eastern North America
CEO Communication Education and Outreach
CEO PC Communication, Education, and Outreach Planning Committee
CESMD Center for Engineering Strong Motion Data
CIG Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics
CFM Community Fault Model
CGM Community Geodetic Model
CGS California Geological Survey, a SCEC core institution
CISE Computer and Information for Science and Engineering
CISM Collaboratory for Interseismic Simulation and Modeling; a SCEC special project to provide an environment for developing large-scale numerical models that can simulate sequences of fault ruptures and the seismic shaking they produce, and potentially be calibrated against existing data and tested against observations within CSEP
CISN California Integrated Seismic Network
CME Community Modeling Environment
CMS content management system
COSI-Corr Co-registration of Optically Sensed Images and Correlation
CPU central processing unit; refers to the electronic circuitry in a computer that carries out the instructions of a computer program by performing the basic arithmetic, logical, control and input/output operations specified by the instructions
CRM Community Rheology Model
CRN cosmogenic radionuclide
CSEP Collaboratory for the Study of Earthquake Predictability; SCEC special project providing an international cyberinfrastructure that sustains the prospective, blind testing of short- and medium-term earthquake forecasts on regional and global scales; over 400 earthquake-forecasting models and their variations are currently under prospective CSEP testing
CSM Community Stress Model
CSTA California Science Teachers Association
CTM Community Thermal Model
CUSEC Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium
CVM Community Velocity Model
CVM-H Community Velocity Model-Harvard
CVM-S Community Velocity Model-SCEC
CXMs SCEC Community Models
CyberShake Simulation-based probabilistic seismic hazard model by the Southern California Earthquake Center
DHHS Department of Health & Human Services
DMP data management plan
DOE Department of Energy
DOI digital object identifier; a serial code used to uniquely identify content of various types on electronic networks
DPC data products catalog
EAR Division of Earth Science, National Science Foundation
EarthScope Earth science program funded by NSF to explore the 4-dimensional structure of the North American continent
ECA Earthquake Country Alliance
ECSZ eastern California shear zone
ED-SP Executive Science Director for Special Projects; SCEC director responsible for managing science activities of the externally funded SCEC Special Projects and coordinating these activities with the SCEC IT Architect and Planning Committee
EEII Earthquake Engineering Implementation Interface
EEW earthquake early warning
EFP Earthquake Forecasting and Predictability
ELCA Experiential Learning and Career Advancement
ELM equivalent linear model
EPIcenter Earthquake and Tsunami Education and Public Information Center network of museums, science centers, and libraries organized by SCEC to provide reliable earthquake information and programs for the public
ERF earthquake rupture forecast
ETAS Epidemic Type Aftershock Sequence
ExGM Extreme Ground Motion
F3DT full three-dimensional waveform tomography
FARM Fault and Rupture Mechanics
FBA Force Balance Accelerometer (e.g. models produced Kinemetrics include FBA ES-DH, FBA ES-T)
FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency
FGDC Federal Geographic Data Committee
GEM Global Earthquake Model
GeoPRISMS Geodynamic Processes at Rifting and Subducting Margins; formerly MARGINS program
GFZ also known as the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam or German Research Centre for Geosciences located in Potsdam, Germany
GIS geospatial information system
GMM Ground Motion Model
GMP ground-motion prediction
GMPE ground motion prediction equation
GMSV Ground Motion Simulation Validation, a SCEC Technical Activity Group
GNS Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences in New Zealand
GPS Global Positioning System; space-based navigation system that provides location and time information in all weather conditions, anywhere on or near the Earth where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites
GPU graphics processing unit, used together with CPU to accelerate scientific, analytics, engineering, consumer, and enterprise applications that are floating point compute-intensive applications
GS graduate student
GTL geotechnical layer, representing the near-surface (~300 m thick) low-velocity zone of unlithified sediments and weathered crystalline rocks, geologically mapped and calibrated by local measurements
Hercules deterministic wave propagation computational codes developed by SCEC researchers; a finite-element parallel code that relies on an octree-based mesher and solves the anelastic wave equations by approximating the spatial variability of the displacements and the time evolution with piecewise polynomial elements and central differences, respectively
High-F SCEC simulation activity that supports dynamic-rupture and ground-motion studies working to push earthquake simulations to higher frequencies (> 1 Hz) by modeling the effects of fault roughness, near-fault plasticity, frequency-dependent attenuation, topography, small-scale near-surface heterogeneities, and near-surface nonlinearities
HPC high-performance computing
ICP-MS inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry
IME Improvement Method Enabler
INCITE Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment; program that awards time on Oak Ridge and Argonne Leadership Computing Facility high performance computer systems for researchers to pursue transformational advances in science and technology
InSAR Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar; a remote sensing technique for mapping ground deformation using radar images from Earth-orbiting satellites
IRIS Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology; a consortium of universities dedicated to the operation of science facilities for the acquisition, management, and distribution of seismological data
IRIS DMC IRIS Data Management Center archives and distributes data to support seismological research community
IT information technology
JPC Joint Planning Committee, comprised of USGS and SCEC members who participate in the construction of the annual science collaboration plan, to ensure SCEC maintains close alignment with the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program
K14 term used to describe sum of primary, secondary, and community (first two years of) college education
LAD Lithospheric Architecture and Dynamics
LiDAR Light Detection And Ranging; remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Earth
LOS line of sight
MARGINS National Science Foundation, Continental Margins Program; now GeoPRISMS
MOU memorandum of understanding
NASA JPL National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)Jet Propulsion Laboratory; federally funded research and development center managed by Caltech for robotic exlporation of the solar system
NCSA National Center for Supercomputing Applications; currently manages Blue Waters, the fastest supercomputer at a university anywhere in the world
NEHRP National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program; the federal government's coordinated long-term nationwide program to reduce risks to life and property in the United States that result from earthquakes
NGA Next Generation Attenuation model
NHERI Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure
NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; afederal agency focused on the condition of the oceans and the atmosphere
NRC National Research Council or Nuclear Regulatory Commission
NSCI National Strategic Computing Initiative, aims to develop an exascale computer for scientific use in the next 10 years
NSF National Science Foundation
OEF Operational Earthquake Forecasting
OLCF Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility; designated user facility operated by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Department of Energy, operating several supercomputers, including Titan, ranked 1st on the TOP500 list of world's fastest supercomputers as of November 2012
OMB Office of Management and Budget; largest office within the Executive Office of the President of the United States, responsible for producing the President's Budget and measuring the quality of agency programs, policies, and procedures to ensure compliance with the president's policies
OpenSHA Open Seismic Hazard Analysis; an object-oriented Java-based framework that can accomodate arbitrarily complex (e.g., physics based) earthquake rupture forecasts (ERFs), ground-motion models, and engineering-response models, which narrows the gap between cutting-edge geophysics and state-of-the-art hazard and risk evaluations
ORCID an open, non-profit, community-driven effort to create and maintain a registry of unique researcher identifiers and a transparent method of linking research activities and outputs to these identifiers
ORNL Oak Ridge National Laboratory; the largest U.S. Department of Energy science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and applied research to deliver transformative solutions to compelling problems in energy and security; its OLCF program provides computing and data management resources to supercomputing systems, including Titan (capable of 27 petaflops)
OSL dating of feldspar
OSTP Office of Science and Technology Policy; advises the President and others within the Executive Office of the President on the effects of science and technology on domestic and international affairsj; lead interagency efforts to develop and implement sound science and technology policies and budgets, and to work with the private sector, state and local governments, the science and higher education communities, and other nations toward this end
PAID Petascale Application Improvement Discovery
PBIC SCEC Portable Broadband Instrument Center; established to provide researchers in Southern California with year-round access to a "pool" of portable seismic recording equipment; also serves as a Rapid Array Mobilization Procedure (RAMP) facility in the event of significant earthquakes
PBO Plate Boundary Observatory; the geodetic component of the EarthScope project, designed to study the 3D strain field across the active boundary zone between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates in the western United States; data from PBO's integrated network of GPS stations, strainmeters and seismometers, coupled with aerial and satellite imagery, are providing important temporal constraints on plate boundary deformation and are improving our knowledge of the fundamental physics that govern deformation, faulting, and fluid transport in earth’s lithosphere
PC SCEC Planning Committee; responsible for developing the Annual Science Plan, which describes the SCEC’s research interests and priorities, and the Annual Collaboration Plan, which details how resources will be allocated to projects; chaired by the SCEC Co-Director, assisted by a PC Vice-Chair, and comprises representatives from each of the working groups
PC-VC Planning Committee Vice-Chair
PDF portable document format; file format used to present documents in a manner independent of application software, hardware and operating systems; also, Probabilty Density Function
PEER Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center
PFO Piñon Flat Observatory; operated by UCSD with partial funding from the SCEC to measure, as accurately as possible, crustal deformation in a tectonically active area and serves as a testing ground for new geophysical instrumentation; the PFO data—which provide the longest ultra-broadband records of crustal motion (from minutes to years) from any plate boundary—are used for studies of the seismic cycle in southern California and for comparison with other measurements in the immediate area, with the surrounding array of deformation measurements made with continuous GPS and borehole strainmeters by the PBO, and more broadly, with other long-base and borehole strainmeter measurements made throughout the PBO
PG&E Pacific Gas & Electric Company
PGV Peak Ground Velocity
PI Principal Investigator
PII personally identifiable information; as used in US privacy law and information security, information that can be used on its own or with other information to identify, contact, or locate a single person, or to identify an individual in context
pIR-IRSL post-infrared infrared stimulated luminescence; technique for luminescence dating of feldspar to meet dating needs in arid regions
PRAC Petascale Computing Resource Allocations; NSF program that invites research groups to submit requests for allocations of resources on the Blue Waters system, deployed at the University of Illinois
PSA pseudo-spectral acceleration
PSHA Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis
QCN Quake Catcher Network
QuakeSmart program developed by SCEC CEO in partnership with FLASH, Safe-T-Proof, Simpson Strongtie, and several other partners that recognizes businesses that have demonstrated earthquake preparedness and hazard mitigation
RAID originally redundant array of inexpensive disks (now commonly redundant array of independent disks); a data storage virtualization technology that combines multiple physical disk drive components into a single logical unit for the purposes of data redundancy, performance improvement, or both
RAMP Rapid Array Mobilization Procedure; plan to ensure the most rapid and effective post-earthquake scientific investigations
REAKT strategies and tools for “Real-time EArthquake risK reducTion”
REU Research Experiences for Undergraduates; NSF program that supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation
RSQSim an earthquake simulator developed by SCEC researcher James Dieterich and Keith Richards-Dinger; participating in the Earthquake Simulators Comparison Project, a SCEC Technical Activity Group activity, and the Collaboratory for Interseismic Simulation and Modeling
SAC Seismic Analysis Code; general-purpose interactive program designed for the study of sequential signals, especially time-series data, with an emphasis placed on analysis tools used by research seismologists in the detailed study of seismic events; developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, copyrighted by the University of California, and currently developed and maintained by IRIS
SAF San Andreas Fault
SAGE/GAGE Seismological Facilities for the Advancement of Geosciences and EarthScope (SAGE) and Geodesy Advancing Geosciences and EarthScope (GAGE); NSF-supported large multi-user facilities that provide geodetic, seismic, and related geophysical instrumentation, data, and educational capabilities to a wide range of EAR-supported communities
SAVI Science Across Virtual Institutes; NSF program to facilitate collaboration among teams of NSF-supported U.S. scientists and engineers and their international partners who have complementary strengths and common interests and who wish to form virtual institutes to foster enhanced research collaboration; data sharing; networking; and technical exchanges of students, post docs, and junior faculty across borders
SCEC Southern California Earthquake Center
SCEC-VDO SCEC Virtual Display of Objects
SCEC2 Southern California Earthquake Center, 2nd phase (1 Feb 2002 to 31 Jan 2007)
SCEC3 Southern California Earthquake Center, 3rd phase (1 Feb 2007 to 31 Jan 2012)
SCEC4 Southern California Earthquake Center, 4th phase (1 Feb 2012 to 31 Jan 2017)
SCEC5 Southern California Earthquake Center, 5th phase (1 Feb 2017 to 31 Jan 2022)
SCEDC Southern California Earthquake Data Center
SCI site-city interaction; describes the soil-structure interaction effects that come from the dynamic interaction of multiple structures
SCIGN Southern California Integrated GPS Network
SCSN Southern California Seismic Network; the modern digital ground motion seismic network monitoring seismicity in southern California and providing real-time earthquake information products, including rapid notifications, hypocenters, magnitudes, moment tensors, and ShakeMap
SDLM Science Data Lifecycle Model; data management model developed by the USGS as a high-level view of data—from conception through preservation and sharing—to illustrate how data management activities relate to project workflows, and to assist with understanding the expectations of proper data management; application of the model can help ensure that data products will be well-described, preserved, accessible, and fit for re-use
SDOT Stress and Deformation Over Time
SDSC San Diego Supercomputer Center
SEAOC Structural Engineers Association of California
SEAONC Structural Engineers Association of Northern California
SEAOSC Structural Engineers Association of Southern California
SEED Standard for the Exchange of Earthquake Data; data format intended primarily for the archival and exchange of seismological time series data and related metadata, maintained by the International Federation of Digital Seismograph Networks
SEISM Software Environment for Integrated Seismic Modeling
SfM Structure-from-Motion; range imaging techniquethat estimates three-dimensional structures from two-dimensional image sequences which may be coupled with local motion signals; for example, SfM photogrammetry can be used for rapid construction of high-resolution 3D surface models for paleoseismic and structural geology studies
SFSA Special Fault Study Area
SGP San Gorgonio Pass
SGT strain Green tensor
ShakeOut Global earthquake drill to prepare communities for major earthquakes
SHRA Seismic Hazard and Risk Analysis
SoSAFE Southern San Andreas Fault Evaluation
SRL Seismological Research Letters
SSA Seismological Society of America; an international scientific society devoted to the advancement of seismology and the understanding of earthquakes for the benefit of society
sSAF southern San Andreas Fault
SSEs scientific software elements
SSI soil-structure interactions
STC Science & Technology Center
STP seismic transfer program
STEM acronym referring to the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics; used when addressing education policy and curriculum choices in schools to improve competitiveness in science and technology development
SU service units; a measure of the amount of processing work a computer can perform in one hour
SURE Summer Undergraduate Research Experience
SWUS Southwest U.S. Ground Motion Characterization project, sponsored by the western U.S. electric power companies in response to requirements of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
TACC Texas Advanced Computing Center
TAG Technical Activity Group
TAMU Texas A&M University, a SCEC core institution
TB terabytes; a measure of computer storage capacity that is 2 to the 40th power bytes, or approximately a thousand, billion bytes (roughly 1000 gigabytes)
UCERF Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast
UCERF2 Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast (Version 2)
UCERF3 Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast (Version 3)
UCERF3-ETAS Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast (Version 3) Epidemic Type Aftershock Sequence
UCERF3-TD Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast (Version 3) Time-Dependent Model
UCERF3-TI Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast (Version 3) Time-Independent Model
UCSD University of California, San Diego
UCVM Unified Community Velocity Model
UG undergraduate student
UGMS Committee on the Utilization of Ground Motion Simulations
UNAVCO a non-profit university-governed consortium that facilitates geoscience research and education using geodesy
USC University of Southern California
USCDR University of Southern California (USC) Digital Repository
UseIT Undergraduate Studies in Earthquake Information Technology
USGS U. S. Geological Survey
USGS EHP U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Earthquake Hazards Program responsible for monitoring, reporting, and researching earthquakes and earthquake hazards
USR Unified Structural Representation
VSP Vital Signs of the Planet, teacher development program
WGCEP Working Group on California Earthquake Probabilities
XSEDE Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment
ZHS Zumberge Hall of Science; building on the University of Southern California that houses SCEC headquarters