TACC Steps Up to Help Japan Predict Earthquakes

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In the wake of recent natural disasters in Japan, several universities are offering Japan another form of assistance in the form supercomputing capacity. Rachel King writes that supercomputers are being used to reveal important clues as to where more earthquakes are likely to happen.

“The rolling blackouts in Japan after the earthquake have made it difficult for researchers to use their own supercomputers as simulations can take several days to run. “They’ve got this actual data from the earthquake that they could be putting through models to think about things like aftershocks, tsunamis, as well as some of the climatological impact related to the water or the air,” says Tim Carroll, director and global leader for high performance computing at Dell. After the March 11 earthquake, when Japanese researchers told Dell about the power problems, Dell coordinated with university facilities, including the University of Texas Advanced Computing Center, Florida State, Lawrence Livermore National Labs and Cambridge University to donate capacity.”

Researchers from the University of Tokyo Earthquake Research Institute and the RIKEN research institute in Japan have so far used 117,000 of the 500,000 compute hours donated by the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). Other areas where researchers might use high-performance computing power is for seismic analysis of nuclear reactors and other buildings, as well as how long it may take for radiation to dissipate from sea water, ground water and the atmosphere, says Dell’s tim Carroll. Read the Full Story.