Tuesday, September 14, 2010
SDSU team simulates magnitude 8 earthquake.
The 7.2 temblor in northern Baja that rocked San Diego last spring was a reminder of the ever-present threat of “the big one” to Southern California.
To assess potential damage from “the big one,” a team led by Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) director Thomas Jordan completed the most advanced simulation of an earthquake ever undertaken. Using the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Jaguar supercomputer, the team simulated the rupture and 6 minutes of ground motion for a magnitude 8 quake along the southern section of the San Andreas Fault.
The SCEC project simulates an earthquake more powerful than the temblor that destroyed San Francisco in 1906—and 30 times as energetic as the quake that devastated Haiti in January. The simulation indicates extreme shaking near San Bernardino, moderate-to-strong shaking in Oxnard, Downey and around the Los Angeles area and only slight shaking in San Diego.
San Diego State Geological Sciences professors Kim Olsen and Steven Day and post-doctoral researcher, Daniel Roten, were part of the team, whose work earned them a finalist’s slot for this year’s Gordon Bell Prize, awarded to the world’s most advanced scientific computing application.
To read more about the simulation, visit www.sdsc.edu.