Wednesday, April 10, 2013
10:00 am
Thomas 206

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.

Contact Carolina Oseguera susta@caltech.edu at 626 395-4271
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