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Discovery
Advances in Computational Research Transform Scientific Process and Discovery

Back to article | Note about images

Map of Antarctica

A prototype simulation of the dynamics of the Antarctic ice sheet on the new Stampede supercomputer at TACC. Ice flow is modeled using the 3-D nonlinear full Stokes equations, which is the highest fidelity model of ice sheet flow. The code incorporates a number of advanced numerical methods, including mass-conservative discretization, mesh adaptivity and scalable parallel solvers. The variable-resolution mesh features 1 km finest resolution at grounding lines, leading to a total of 110 million velocity and pressure unknowns. This model was solved on 16,384 cores of Stampede.

The image shows the resulting surface ice velocity corresponding to an assumed friction at the base of the ice sheet. The capability of a system like Stampede is critical for enabling the solution of the inverse problem, in which we seek to determine the basal friction that minimizes the misfit between predicted and observed surface flow velocities. Such inverse solutions require many forward model solutions and are essential for creating an ice sheet dynamics model that is better able to predict sea level rise.

Credit: Tobin Isaac and Georg Stadler, Institute for Computational Science & Engineering (ICES); Omar Ghattas, ICES, Jackson School of Geosciences and Department of Mechanical Engineering; The University of Texas at Austin


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Improved and Conventional models with world map

Statistics of randomly selected 100 tropical cyclones simulated by a model with improved representation of cloud processes (left) and by the same model with a conventional representation of cloud processes during the same period of time.

Credit: Cristiana Stan, George Mason University, COLA


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map view of California showing active California faults.

This map shows the Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast v.3 (UCERF3) which forecasts the probability of all possible damaging earthquakes greater than magnitude 5.0 throughout California over a given time frame such as the next five years. This map view of California shows active California faults as defined in UCERF3. The fault colors show the UCERF3 forecast of the rate at which each fault section will participate in an earthquake rupture with magnitude greater than 6.7. Less likely sections are shown in blue and more likely sections in red. The background colors on the map show UCERF3 earthquake rate forecasts for off-fault regions. SCEC scientists used TACC supercomputers, including Ranger and Stampede, to calculate the hazards from many alternative earthquake rupture scenarios and to combine the results into the final UCERF3 earthquake rupture forecast.
Currently under scientific review, once approved, UCERF3 is expected to be used by the California Earthquake Authority to set insurance rates and purchase catastrophe reinsurance, by structural engineers to design safer communities, and the public to understand earthquake risk.

Credit: Kevin Milner, University of Southern California


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map showing the Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast

This map shows the Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast v.3 (UCERF3), which forecasts the probability of all possible damaging earthquakes greater than magnitude 5.0 throughout California over a given time frame such as the next 30 years. This map view of California shows active California faults as defined in UCERF3. The fault colors show the UCERF3 forecast of the rate at which each fault section will participate in an earthquake rupture with magnitude greater than 6.5. Less likely sections are shown in blue and more likely sections in red.
The light blue boundary identifies the UCERF model region, which comprises California and a buffer zone. The blue boxes highlight the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles regions. SCEC scientists used TACC supercomputers Ranger and Stampede to calculate the hazards from many alternative earthquake rupture scenarios and to combine the results in the final UCERF3 earthquake rupture forecast.
Currently under scientific review, once approved, UCERF3 is expected to be used by the California Earthquake Authority to set insurance rates and purchase catastrophe reinsurance, by structural engineers to design safer communities, and by the public to understand earthquake risk.

Credit: Kevin Milner, University of Southern California


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An elevated 3-D view of a parent supercell with two merging cells along the flanking line.

An elevated 3-D view from the southeast of a parent supercell with two merging cells along the flanking line.

Credit: Kevin Van Leer, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois


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3-D and 2-D graphic representation of a parent supercell.

Left: An elevated 3-D view from the Southeast of a descending 50 dBZ reflectivity core (green) with an intense 0.1 s^-1 vorticity column that extends from the surface to 2 km above ground level (AGL). Right: a 2-D view of simulated reflectivity at 2 km AGL of a cell merging along the rear flank of a parent supercell.

Credit: Kevin Van Leer, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois


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