Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Special Mechanical and Civil Engineering Seminar
High-Frequency Deterministic Earthquake Simulation: Recent Efforts, Present Challenges, and Future Opportunities
Ricardo Taborda , Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
The increasing capability of high-performance computing applications and eﬃcient wave propagation methods has facilitated performing regional-size earthquake simulation at levels of resolution higher than ever before. Currently, the production of high-ﬁdelity ground motion synthetics is mostly used for understanding earthquake physics and ground motion characteristics, and its practical use in engineering is still very limited. In this talk, I will review some of my work on simulation of seismic events using deterministic applications, discuss some of the present challenges in modeling earthquake processes, and describe future opportunities for earthquake simulation in engineering. To this end, I will present (i) results of a 4-Hz simulation of the Mw 5.4 2008 Chino Hills, California, earthquake; and (ii) the simulation of the dynamic behavior of a simple class of building clusters including coupled soil-structure interaction eﬀects during strong ground shaking. The ﬁrst half of this talk includes a qualitative and quantitative comparison with records obtained from over 300 stations throughout the Los Angeles region during the Chino Hills earthquake. The comparison indicates that our knowledge and representation of the source mechanism, the crustal structure, and the upper soil layers still require improvement, but suggests that it will be computationally tractable to produce realistic earthquake simulations using deterministic modeling approaches at frequencies up to 10 Hz within the next decade. This will oﬀer a path forward for the use of deterministic earthquake simulation in seismic hazard analysis and engineering design. A nascent example of this is the simulation of the dynamic behavior of large building inventories in dense urban areas. This will be the focus of the second half of this talk. In closing, I will oﬀer my vision for the use of simulations as a tool for engineering the sustainable and resilient infrastructure systems needed in the 21st century.