The December 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake is the third strongest recorded earthquake in historic previous. Triggering a assortment of monumental tsunamis, the deadly quake ultimately precipitated the deaths of larger than to 200,000 of us in 15 nations — making it one of in all probability essentially the most devastating pure disasters of all time. To attempt to be taught lessons from it, German researchers from the Technical University of Munich and Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) of Munich simply currently used a SuperMUC supercomputer to reproduce the event, in what they declare is the biggest ever multiphysics simulation of an earthquake and tsunami.

This immensely tough job was the consequence of five years of preparations in order to optimize the earthquake simulation software program program.

“Reality is complex — and earthquakes are a multi-scale and multi-physics problem,” Dr. Alice-Agnes Gabriel, the lead researcher from the LMU side of the workforce, instructed Digital Trends. “To gain insight into the geophysical processes of the earthquake, we [needed] to simultaneously calculate the complicated fracture of several fault segments and the subsurface propagation of seismic waves, and we [needed] to consider modeling domains, spanning hundreds of kilometers, as well as the tip of earthquake fronts which is releasing tectonic stresses on, at most, meter scale.”


C. Uphoff, S.Rettenberger, M. Bader, Technical University of Munich. E. Madden, T. Ulrich, S. Wollherr, A. Gabriel, Ludwigs-Maximilians-Universität

The simulation took spherical 14 hours to full, using all 86,016 cores of the SuperMUC, which carried out virtually 50 trillion operations inside the course of. To perform the seismic wave propagation calculations alone, larger than 3 million time steps had to be computed. According to the researchers, the work is so vanguard that — merely two years earlier — the computing time for the simulation would have taken 15 events longer.

As fascinating because it could possibly be to accomplish that, Gabriel talked about that there is “no realistic hope” of researchers being able to predict earthquakes like this anytime shortly. Instead, simulations resembling this one are important as a outcome of they may hopefully be used to help mitigate earthquake-related harm to infrastructure, societies, and economies.

“Our analysis will help with the development of more reliable early warning systems,” she talked about. The work may also help researchers to understand why some earthquakes and the following tsunamis are a lot bigger than others.

In recognition of the researchers’ achievement, a paper describing this work was nominated for the “best paper” award at SC17, one of the world’s premier supercomputing conferences, at current happening in Denver.





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