For the first time, regional-scale ground motion simulations are becoming computationally feasible and simulation models that connect the domains of seismology, geotechnical and structural engineering are within grasp. The tremendous developments occurring in high performance computing, data collection and data exploitation can help advance earthquake hazard and risk assessments.
The Seismic Simulation ECP will take full advantage of DOE leadership in high performance computing and simulation science and, with a multidisciplinary team of experts, develop an unprecedented computational toolset for earthquake hazard and risk assessment. The effort will build upon a significant body of computational developments from the national labs and contributing universities. In addition, Berkeley Lab will collaborate closely with Pacific Gas and Electric Company to exploit future deployments of dense seismic instrumentation in the San Francisco Bay Area region. With a ten-year vision of practical application of computationally based hazard and risk assessments, the project will advance SW4, a fourth order seismic wave propagation application, as the principal simulation tool for regional scale seismic hazard computations. To address geologic uncertainties, SW4 will be required to execute both high-performance forward and inverse computations with domain-specific efficiencies such as mesh refinement to optimize computations in geologic structures.
This work will be leveraged by an ongoing DOE-sponsored project to develop an advanced computational tool for soil-structure-interaction (the Earthquake Soil Structure Interaction (ESSI) nonlinear finite element code), so that regional scale earthquake hazard simulations with SW4 can be translated into critical facility earthquake risk assessments with ESSI. This will provide increased understanding of complex, spatially distributed earthquake generated ground motions, and the critical interplay between ground motion features and the resulting response of critical infrastructure.
Learn more about the Project and the ECP by going to the Berkeley Lab’s News Center.