Modeling Earthquake Mechanics with High Resolution Fault Zone Physics: New Computational Tools for Addressing The Conundrum of Scales

Ahmed E. Elbanna, Setare Hajarolasvadi, Xiao Ma, Mohamed Abdelmeguid, David Kammer, Gabriele Albertini, Bob Haber, & Amit Madhukar

Submitted August 15, 2018, SCEC Contribution #8686, 2018 SCEC Annual Meeting Poster #199

Modeling earthquake ruptures is a complex challenge due to the wide range of spatio-temporal scales contributing to the dynamic instability, ensuing propagation, and slow inter-seismic deformation. New numerical schemes based on efficient domain decomposition, or adaptive mesh refinement, are thus required to address this conundrum of scales and resolve the correct physics.

Here, I will present two recent developments in computational earthquake dynamics that my group has been working on to address the spatio-temporal complexity of earthquake slip. In the first half of this presentation, I will describe our progress in developing a hybrid numerical technique that couples domain-based methods with spectral boundary integral equations through the consistent exchange of displacement and traction boundary conditions, thereby benefiting from the flexibility of domain-based discretization techniques in handling problems with nonlinearities or small-scale heterogeneities and from the superior performance and accuracy of Spectral Boundary Integral (SBI) method. Our current computational infrastructure includes coupling finite element and finite difference methods with SBI in 2D in-plane and anti-plane settings as well as in 3D geometries using both explicit and implicit integration schemes and adaptive time stepping. We have validated the method using several benchmark problems and demonstrated its unique capabilities in modeling earthquake ruptures with high resolution fault zone physics. I will also demonstrate our preliminary results for modeling earthquake cycles with inelastic rheology and heterogeneous bulk.

In the second half of this presentation, I will briefly describe a recent collaborative effort in applying a novel space-time asynchronous Discontinuous Galerkin method (aSDG) for modeling exascale problems in earthquake dynamics. The method enables extreme dynamic adaptivity in space-time, over several decades of scales, and superior accuracy in resolving the process zone and high frequency radiation. I will demonstrate the potential of the method in modeling large scale dynamic rupture with laboratory-based friction parameters. These novel developments in computational dynamic fracture open new opportunities for multiscale modeling of earthquake physics for next generation seismic hazard models.

Elbanna, A. E., Hajarolasvadi, S., Ma, X., Abdelmeguid, M., Kammer, D., Albertini, G., Haber, B., & Madhukar, A. (2018, 08). Modeling Earthquake Mechanics with High Resolution Fault Zone Physics: New Computational Tools for Addressing The Conundrum of Scales. Poster Presentation at 2018 SCEC Annual Meeting.

Related Projects & Working Groups
Fault and Rupture Mechanics (FARM)