SCEC Award Number 18032 View PDF
Proposal Category Collaborative Proposal (Data Gathering and Products)
Proposal Title Enhancing the Community Fault Model (CFM) to support SCEC science, community model development, and hazard assessment
Name Organization
John Shaw Harvard University Craig Nicholson University of California, Santa Barbara
Other Participants Andreas Plesch, Senior Research Scientist
SCEC Priorities 1a, 3a, 4a SCEC Groups CXM, Geology, Seismology
Report Due Date 03/15/2019 Date Report Submitted 03/15/2019
Project Abstract
This project continued to develop the Community Fault Model (CFM), with specific emphasis on facilitating use of the CFM in new community modeling efforts and earthquake simulators. The CFM is one of the most mature models within SCEC, and has seen widespread use in many aspects of our science, including rupture modeling and probabilistic hazards assessment. Nevertheless, it remains critical that the CFM continues to be updated, expanded, and validated – so that it can support a wider range of community modeling activities in SCEC5. To facilitate these efforts, this past year we:
1) Continued to update and expand the CFM with a series of refinements and improvements based on the latest earthquake catalogs, surface trace maps, and community feedback.
2) Developed GIS shapefiles of 3D fault surface traces and blind fault tip-lines, and regular gridded representations of 3D fault surfaces, to facilitate their use in various numerical modeling efforts.
3) With Scott Marshall, provided enhanced 3D viewing capability for CFM by updating SCEC-VDO and reformatting CFM fault surfaces for viewing with MoVE Viewer.
4) Together with Scott and SCEC IT, developed a dedicated CFM webpage to access and download CFM 5.2 at, and an interactive web-based graphical interface to access, search and select CFM subsets and database information.
5) Coordinated CFM activities with other community modeling projects in SCEC, including the Geologic Framework, Community Rheologic Model, and Dynamic Rupture Modeling groups.
This project represents a collaborative effort between the lead development teams at Harvard University and UC Santa Barbara.
Intellectual Merit As widely acknowledged, the Community Fault Model (CFM) and its associated fault database is a crucial component of SCEC. It is critical to many SCEC activities, research objectives, program elements, and science initiatives. This is particularly true of new community modeling efforts (like CRM, CSM, CTM and the 3D Geological Framework) and fundamental SCEC science objectives related to fault system studies, rupture models, and seismic hazard assessment (e.g., UCERF3). This project helps support continued development of the CFM by updating, improving, expanding and enhancing the CFM fault database, increasing access and availability to the most recent CFM 3D fault set (Version 5.2), providing regularly meshed CFM surfaces to facilitate use in earthquake simulator modeling, providing GIS representations of 3D fault surface traces and blind fault tip-lines, and continuing to coordinate with the SCEC IT team and other active community modeling efforts on useful enhancements to the CFM. Besides providing more accurate and realistic 3D fault representations critical to a deeper understanding and modeling of dynamic earthquake rupture propagation in southern California, an important contribution to SCEC's studies of fault system science was the implementation within CFM of a new hierarchical fault name and numbering scheme that allows for grouping of individual faults as part of larger, geometrically or kinematically linked fault systems. This enables CFM users to access and assess the context and full richness of fault systems, 3D fault models, and alternative 3D fault representations in the CFM, and provides a basis for more expansive and novel views of the potential for complex fault interactions and multi-fault earthquake ruptures.
Broader Impacts The main purpose of this project was to expand, improve and enhance the availability and accessibility of the SCEC CFM, and as a consequence, the broader impacts of CFM in a wider range of earthquake science initiatives, community modeling efforts, and related student research activities. Development of the new, dedicated SCEC CFM webpage, together with the recently implemented web-based, interactive graphical user interface, provides easy access to the digital CFM 3D fault set of complex fault representations, allowing for comparative studies of such complex fault systems on a more global basis. At Harvard and UCSB, this project continued to support and encourage the use of state-of-the-art interactive facilities and software for the 3D visualization, analysis, interpretation and modeling of complex fault representations and underlying datasets -- facilities and software that help promote research and education in complex earth system science and earthquake investigations with the ultimate goal of improved earthquake hazard assessment and risk mitigation. At Harvard, the CFM is used regularly (multiple times each semester) in teaching concepts of the dynamic Earth, the societal impact of earthquakes, or understanding geoscience data, to visiting K-12 students, and in undergraduate and graduate level courses. Undergraduate and graduate students also continually conduct research on the CFM in various thesis projects. As an example, a recent senior thesis resulted in a statistical event-fault association model which is currently being tested in automated early-warning earthquake alerts to early responders in Southern California.
Exemplary Figure Figure 3: (left) Initial web-based interactive CFM interface to access CFM fault objects, query the CFM fault meta-data attributes and download selected 3D fault surfaces. (right) Screen shot of new, updated SCEC CFM formal webpage at: Credit SCEC IT, Scott Marshall, and the Harvard & UCSB CFM Development Teams.