Skip to Main Content
Petascale simulations are needed to understand the rupture and wave dynamics of the largest earthquakes at shaking frequencies required to engineer safe structures (> 1 Hz). Toward this goal, we have developed a highly scalable, parallel application (AWP-ODC) that has achieved “M8”: a full dynamical simulation of a magnitude-8 earthquake on the southern San Andreas fault up to 2 Hz. M8 was calculated using a uniform mesh of 436 billion 40-m3 cubes to represent the three-dimensional crustal structure of Southern California, in a 800 km by 400 km area, home to over 20 million people. This production run producing 360 sec of wave propagation sustained 220 Tflop/s for 24 hours on NCCS Jaguar using 223,074 cores. As the largest-ever earthquake simulation, M8 opens new territory for earthquake science and engineering - the physics-based modeling of the largest seismic hazards with the goal of reducing their potential for loss of life and property.