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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 and shakemaps
CyberShake Project and ShakeMaps

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. <>.