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CyberShake Project and ShakeMaps. CyberShake Project. CyberShake is a SCEC research project that is a physics-based high performance computational approach to Probabilistic S eismic H azard A nalysis (PSHA)

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cybershake project
CyberShake Project
  • CyberShake is a SCEC research project that is a physics-based high performance computational approach to Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis (PSHA)
  • It uses 3D seismic wave propagation simulations to predict ground motions produced by earthquakes
  • Supercomputers are used to run complicated algorithms that can help predict ground motions
  • Goal is to create maps that can predict how much the ground will move when a fault ruptures in different locations in Southern California
probabilistic seismic hazard analysis psha
Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis (PSHA)
  • Help create maps of unstable zones based on historical records of fault ruptures
  • Combines the results of millions of vertical earthquake simulations into a map that will show the distribution of how different places will be affected
  • Requires two inputs
    • A velocity or earth structure model
    • An earthquake rupture forecast
  • The first input uses information about geologic structure of the soil which illustrates how fast seismic waves will travel though different soil and how much shaking will occur at a given location
  • The second input requires identifying the location of active faults and determine the recurrence interval for each fault
high performance computing
High Performance Computing
  • High performance computation on supercomputers is required to make ShakeMaps
  • 180 million tasks were ran on a supercomputer at Texas Advanced Computing Center
  • By using high performance computing the CyberShake computational approach improves Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis (PSHA) calculations
    • Wave propagation simulations can more accurately describe the ground motion distribution over a given location
    • Wave propagation simulations provide information about ground motion intensity and how long the shaking will last
creating hazard analysis maps
Creating Hazard Analysis Maps
  • The new hazard maps predict more shaking in the L.A. basin
  • Seismologist studied the soil in different locations to determine how the earthquake will affect each type of soil
  • Information of each fault is necessary for creating these maps
  • Scientists figured out the recurrence intervals of each active fault
  • In Southern California it is difficult to create these maps because of all the different soil and rock that exist beneath the surface
hazard analysis map uses
Hazard Analysis Map Uses
  • These maps can predict how much the ground moves at different locations
  • Help illustrate which certain areas will be affected the most
  • Enable emergency response teams to determine what areas had the most damage
  • Engineers use these maps when constructing buildings that will be able to withstand the predicted amount of shaking
  • ShakeMaps are created by the CyberShake project
  • Are geographic representations of ground motion made by an earthquake
  • Highlight the severity of ground shakes throughout the area around the epicenter
  • The map shows the distribution of shaking intensity which is color coded using Mercalli Intensity maps
interpreting shakemaps
Interpreting ShakeMaps
  • Legend
    • Star: location of Epicenter
    • Colored triangles: indicate reporting stations
    • Table: Mercalli Intensity Scale rated by a roman numeral from one to twelve, twelve being the most shaking and damage
how to access shakemaps
How to Access ShakeMaps
  • General ShakeMaps
    • Go to
    • Click on the yellow “Hazards” near the top of the screen
    • Click on the “Earthquake Hazards” link
    • Click on the link next to the “ShakeMap: Maps Depicting Shaking Intensity” text
  • Specific earthquake ShakeMaps
    • Search the quake on Google and click a link that is from the USGS website (one of the first few links)
    • Click on the “Maps” tab towards the top of the screen
    • Click on the map titled “ShakeMap”
works cited
Works Cited
  • Broadband Seismic Data Collection Center. “Glossary of Terms.” 23 Nov. 2010. Web. 20 July, 2011. <>.
  • USGS. “ShakeMaps.” 21 July 2011. Web. 20 July 2011.


  • SCECpedia. “CyberShake.” 14 July 2011. Web. 20 July 2011.


  • Dubros, Aaron. “Tomorrow’s Forecast: Clear with a Chance of Tremors.” Texas Advanced Computing Center. 10 Feb. 2010. Web. 20 July 2011. <>.
  • Texas Advanced Computing Center. “CyberShake.” University of Texas at Austin. Spring 2010. Web. 20 July 2011. <>.