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The TeraShake Computational Platform for Large-Scale Earthquake Simulations

Yifeng Cui, & Philip J. Maechling

Published 2009, SCEC Contribution #1195

Geoscientific and computer science researchers with the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) are conducting a large-scale, physics-based, computationally demanding earthquake system science research program with the goal of developing predictive models of earthquake processes. The computational demands of this program continue to increase rapidly as these researchers seek to perform physics-based numerical simulations of earthquake processes for larger geographical regions, at higher resolution, and for higher frequencies. To help meet the needs of this research program, a multiple-institution team coordinated by SCEC has integrated several scientific codes into a numerical modeling-based research tool we call the TeraShake computational platform (TSCP). A central component in the TSCP is a highly scalable earthquake wave propagation simulation program called the TeraShake anelastic wave propagation(TS-AWP) code. In this chapter, we describe how we extended an existing, stand-alone, well validated, finite-difference, anelastic wave propagation modeling code into the highly scalable and widely used TS-AWP and then integrated this code into the TeraShake computational platform that provides end-to-end (initialization to analysis)research capabilities. We also describe the techniques used to enhance the TS-AWP parallel performance on TeraGrid supercomputers, as well as the TeraShake simulations phases including input preparation, run-time, data archive management, and visualization. As a result of our efforts to improve its parallel efficiency, the TSAWP has now shown highly efficient strong scaling on over 40K processors on IBMs BlueGene/L Watson computer. In addition, the TSCP has developed into a computational system that is useful to many members of the SCEC community for performing large-scale earthquake simulations.

Cui, Y., & Maechling, P. J. (2009). The TeraShake Computational Platform for Large-Scale Earthquake Simulations. In Cui, Y. (Eds.), Lecture Notes in Earth Sciences: Advances in Geocomputing, (, pp. 229-278) , : Springer-Verlag doi: 10.1007/978-3-540-85879-9_7.