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2017 UseIT: High Performance Computing Team

Sarah A. Troise, Morgan T. Bent, Robert A. Hernandez, Rafael G. Cervantes, Jeffrey Hermosura, Matthew D. Martinez, Scott Callaghan, Jacquelyn J. Gilchrist, Jozi K. Pearson, Gabriela R. Noriega, & Thomas H. Jordan

Published August 3, 2017, SCEC Contribution #7403, 2017 SCEC Annual Meeting Poster #312

As part of the 2017 Undergraduate Studies in Earthquake Information Technology (USEIT) internship program, students worked in collaborative groups to tackle unsolved problems in earthquake information technology presented in the form of a Grand Challenge. This year’s Grand Challenge focused on earthquake forecasting, looking at specific scenarios of Southern San Andreas earthquakes and the aftershock sequences they might produce. The events explored by the interns were a M6.1 at Parkfield, M7.0 at Mojave and M6.0 at Bombay Beach. The USEIT High Performance Computing (HPC) Team was challenged to simulate long catalogs of California’s seismic activity on a supercomputer. The team used a physics-based earthquake simulator, the Rate-State earthQuake Simulator (RSQSim). We ran the simulations on the Blue Waters system at the University of Illinois, one of the most powerful open-science supercomputers in the world. To configure an RSQSim simulation, a series of initial physical parameters must be specified: rate- and state-friction parameters, and fault cohesion. The rate- and state-friction parameters can strongly affect the rate of large events in a simulation. The HPC Team studied the effects of varying these parameters on simulated catalogs. Starting with a calibrated catalog, each of the three pairs of interns on the team generated a single long catalog (500,000 simulated years) with different input parameters. These catalogs were then compared to the same base catalog, calibrated with the Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast Version 3 (UCERF3), a comprehensive model of earthquake forecasts in California. Utilizing the R and Java programming languages, the team was able to work with the Probability Forecasting team to analyze the data with respect to the scenarios dictated by the Grand Challenge. The teams compared the probabilities that each initial event would result in a significant aftershock sequence. These aftershock sequences consist of Grand Challenge scenarios followed by M7 aftershocks. The catalogs generated by the HPC Team were also used by the Hazards Team to evaluate the potential damage caused by the Grand Challenge events using ArcGIS and Hazus.

Key Words
UseIT, HPC, High Performance Computing, RSQSim, Intern, Earthquake Catalog, Simulation, Blue Waters

Troise, S. A., Bent, M. T., Hernandez, R. A., Cervantes, R. G., Hermosura, J., Martinez, M. D., Callaghan, S., Gilchrist, J. J., Pearson, J. K., Noriega, G. R., & Jordan, T. H. (2017, 08). 2017 UseIT: High Performance Computing Team. Poster Presentation at 2017 SCEC Annual Meeting.

Related Projects & Working Groups
Communication, Education, and Outreach (CEO)