The gem computational system and recent scientific results
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The GEM Computational System and Recent Scientific Results. Andrea Donnellan Third International ACES Meeting May 10, 2002. GEM. Data Volumes from Observations. GRACE: 50 MB/day onboard, 8GB/day derived product ECHO: 100 GB/day onboard SRTM: 12 TB raw data,

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The gem computational system and recent scientific results

The GEM Computational System and Recent Scientific Results

Andrea Donnellan

Third International ACES Meeting

May 10, 2002


Data volumes from observations

Data Volumes from Observations

  • GRACE: 50 MB/day onboard, 8GB/day derived product

  • ECHO: 100 GB/day onboard

  • SRTM: 12 TB raw data,

  • ICESat: 1 GB/day onboard, 2 GB/day derived

  • SCIGN: 250MB daily - 7.5 GB/day for real time

  • Airborne observations: LIDAR

  • VCL: 2 GB/day onboard, 4 GB/day derived

  • Hyperspectral imagery: 100GB/day raw

  • Imaging LIDAR: >20 GB/day, >40 GB/day

Volumes from models

Volumes from Models

  • Geodynamo model:

    • 1GB of storage for one model run

    • 2010: 5 TB/run

    • Minimal need of 10 runs

  • General earthquake/lithospheric models:

    • 1TB/run

    • 2010: 10 PB/run (multiple scales combined, many regions)

  • Gravity

    • 100 GB/run

    • 2010: 2 TB/run

  • Mantle convection models

    • 1 TB/run

    • 2010: 10PB/run

  • Geomagnetic field models

    • 32 GB/run

    • 2010: 300 GB/run

Where we will be in 2010

Where We Will Be in 2010

  • Multiple solid earth missions flying

  • PetaBytes of data per year gathered in a distributed fashion

  • Data analyzed by widely distributed scientists using widely distributed computational resources

  • Growing need for integration of information from multiple sources on multiple scales into a integrated analysis

The gem computational system and recent scientific results


  • World-wide computational systems supporting gathering of 3 PetaBytes of data per year, integrating analysis, visualization, simulation, and interpretation.



  • Onboard adaptive processing

  • High space to ground bandwidth of TeraBytes per day per mission

  • Data transmission and handling

  • Reusable capabilities (framework)

  • Data processing (100 Petaflops per mission per year)

Requirements continued

Requirements (continued)

  • Product storage (National Virtual Solid Earth Science Observatory) using cooperative federated databases

  • Distributed computational environment for analysis (interoperable framework, portal)

  • Software tools

  • Hardware

Hardware hierarchical

Hardware (Hierarchical)

  • Large central Petaflop computers with TeraBytes of memory

  • Single sign-on seamless access

  • Distributed computers for decomposable problems

  • Cluster computers (e.g. Beowulf for cost performance)

  • Heterogeneous computational capabilities (e.g. for storage, visualization, computing)



  • Problem Solving Environment

    • Visualization tools

    • Analysis algorithms

    • Data mining

  • Framework

    • Supports software integration into multidisciplinary analysis

    • Interoperability between data,software, and computer systems

Gem servo components

GEM/SERVO Components

  • Visualization

  • Model and algorithm development

  • IT: GRID technologies

  • Computational Environments/PSEs

  • Data handling/archiving

  • Assimilation

  • Datamining/pattern recognition

  • Data fusion

  • High speed networks

  • High end computers

  • Clusters

  • Laptops

  • Cycles needed and other infrastructure

  • Scalable system

The gem computational system and recent scientific results

Solid Earth Research Virtual Observatory (SERVO)





Tier2 Center

Tier2 Center

Tier2 Center

Tier2 Center

Tier2 Center







1 PB per year data rate in 2010





Tier 0 +1




100 TeraFLOPs sustained

Tier 1

Tier 2

Fully functional problem solving environment

Tier 3

  • Program-to-program communication in milliseconds

  • Approximately 100 model codes





100 - 1000 Mbits/sec

Data cache

Tier 4

Workstations, other portals

  • Plug and play composing of parallel programs from algorithmic modules

  • On-demand downloads of 100 GB in 5 minutes

  • 106 volume elements rendering in real-time

Virtual observatory project

Virtual Observatory Project

  • Solid earth research virtual observatory (SERVO)

  • On-demand downloads of 100 GB files from 40 TB datasets within 5 minutes.

  • Uniform access to 1000 archive sites with volumes from 1 TB to 1 PB

Scaled to 100 sites

Prototype cooperative federated data base service integrating 5 datasets of 10 TB each

Prototype modeling service capable of integrating 5 modules


Decomposition into services with requirements

Prototype 1920x1080 pixels at 120 frames per second visualization service

Prototype data analysis service

Architecture & technology approach



Problem solving environment project

Problem Solving Environment Project

  • Fully functional PSE used to develop models for building blocks for simulations.

  • Program-to-program communication in milliseconds using staging, streaming, and advanced cache replication

  • Integrated with SERVO

  • Plug and play composing of parallel programs from algorithmic modules

Integrated visualization service with volumetric rendering

  • Extend PSE to Include

  • 20 users collaboratory with shared windows

  • Seamless access to high-performance computers linking remote processes over Gb data channels.


Plug and play composing of sequential programs from algorithmic modules

Prototype PSE front end (portal) integrating 10 local and remote services

Isolated platform dependent code fragments



Computational environment

Computational Environment

~100 model codes with parallel scaled efficiency of 50%

~104 PetaFLOPs throughput per subfield per year

~100 TeraFLOPs sustained capability per model

~106 volume elements rendering in real time


Access to mixture of platforms low cost clusters (20-100) to supercomputers with massive memory and thousands of processors

100’s GigaFLOPs


1 Gb/s network bandwidth



The ventura basin is actively deforming

The Ventura Basin is Actively Deforming

Northridge example

Northridge Example

  • Northridge class simulation: 100,000 unknowns, 4000 time steps –> 8 hours on high end workstation.

  • Southern California system: 0.5 km resolution –> 100,000 processor hours or 400 hours (17 days) on a dedicated 256 processor machine.

Steep gradient largely attributable to low rigidity basin fill

Steep Gradient Largely Attributable to Low Rigidity Basin Fill

Coseismic removed from the interferogram

Coseismic Removed from the Interferogram

Postseismic Interferogram

Results from data inversion show fault afterslip as primary mechanism

Results from Data Inversion Show Fault Afterslip as Primary Mechanism

Comparison of insar and seismic anomalies

Comparison of InSAR and Seismic Anomalies

  • Similar anomaly shows up in both the postseismic deformation indicated by GPS and InSAR (Donnellan et al) and seismic anomalies identified using Principal Component Analysis (Rundle and Tiampo).

  • Mojave desert shows a similar correlation near Barstow and the Blackwater Fault (Rundle and Tiampo; Peltzer).

Recent gps results

Recent GPS Results

  • Similar to pre-seismic velocity field, particularly near the source.



Anomalous motion at jpl was observed related to the northridge earthquake

Residual Geodetic Longitude (cm)

Anomalous Motion at JPL was Observed Related to the Northridge Earthquake

Sierra Madre Fault

1 m

  • JPL is several fault dimensions away from the Northridge rupture.

  • The earthquake probably triggered slip on the Sierra Madre Fault in the upper 0.5 km.

  • Based on additional observations collected near JPL.

  • Later extent of anomaly is unknown due to lack of stations.

California 3d fault simulations

California 3D Fault Simulations

  • Faults are shown as light lines, the earthquakes at model year 4526 are shown as dark lines

  • Simulations indicate that major events are clustered in time like the real events.

  • Simulations using a realistic heterogeneous earth structure are computationally intensive.

Modeling faults as interacting systems

Modeling Faults as Interacting Systems

Southern California Seismicity

Space-time Stress Diagram

Courtesy John Rundle

  • Transients likely occur as a result of stress redistribution.

  • Are observed on different faults, sometimes a few fault dimensions away.



  • 90% of Northridge postseismic motion was aseismic.

  • Afterslip on the mainshock rupture plane responsible for most of the deformation.

  • No evidence for lower crustal relaxation playing a major role in postseismic motions.

  • Recent deformation is consistent with that observed before the earthquake.

More conclusions

More Conclusions

  • High velocity gradient largely attributable to a low rigidity basin.

  • Lower crust is a minor player in interseismic and postseismic motion in this region – consistent with a cold lower crust.

  • The earthquake probably triggered slip on the Sierra Madre fault.

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