Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

Tuesday September 01, 2015

SoCal Researchers Use GPUs to Detect Earthquake Hazards Coming Our Way

GPU technology toppled letters of the iconic "Hollywood" sign and lashed the Golden Gate Bridge with a tsunami in this summer’s blockbuster San Andreas. But that’s the movies. In real life, researchers at the Southern California Earthquake Center are using GPU-powered high performance computing to develop CyberShake, a complex model that calculates how earthquake waves move through a 3D model of the Earth. This helps develop earthquake forecasts and more accurate hazard assessments.

SCEC’s initial target is the real Los Angeles region, where the Pacific and American tectonic plates run into each other to create the famed San Andreas Fault, which runs the length of California, and adjacent states. Their groundbreaking work earlier this year helped SCEC and their collaborators win NVIDIA’s inaugural Global Impact Award and its $150,000 prize. This spring, the team used National Science Foundation and Department of Energy supercomputers آ— Blue Waters and Titan آ— to produce the most sophisticated seismic hazard analysis forecast yet for the Southern California region.

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