Earthquake modelling on e-Science computers
Wednesday 03 March 2010
Earthquake offshore Maule, Chile 27 February 2010
LHC Tier-1 computer at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory has been used to analyse ground motion data from earthquakes to determine the characteristics of the earthquake.
The 5300 processors of the LHC Tier-1 computer at the e-Science data centre at RAL are mostly used to simulate or analyse particle collisions for the CERN LHC experiments to determine the fundamental structure of matter.
As part of the EGEE project, international virtual organisations for earth sciences and biosciences use small percentages of the system time in order to encourage their adoption of the grid technology to share computing resources so that very large shared resources can be brought to bear on problems when they are required.
Since January 2006 it has been used about 0.1% of the time by the European Earth Science Grid virtual organisation esr for the re-analysis of GEOSCOPE data for the determination of the earthquake characteristics a few hours after the data arrival. The French GEOSCOPE Observatory is a network of 30 seismological stations spread around the world in 18 countries and a data center located at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris which manages and distributes the the data. These stations continuously record ground motion.
The data from all ground stations are sent in real time to Paris. After validation and possible corrections, the data are archieved and automatically opened to the international scientific community. The GEOSCOPE Network provides data for Magnitude 6.3 and greater earthquakes.
On the 27th February the GEOSCOPE detectors in Chile identified the 8.8 magnitude earthquake Offshore at Maule for which a reconstruction of the seismological events is shown in the picture to the left. It cannot be known for certain whether the RAL computers were used to calculate this particular model, although they were used for 103 hours by the esr virtual organisation in February.
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