Modeling of Seismic Wave Propagation at the Scale of the Earth on a Large Beowulf

Dimitri Komatitsch, Jeroen Tromp

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


We use a parallel spectral-element method to simulate the propagation of seismic waves generated by earthquakes in the entire 3-D Earth. The method is implemented using MPI on a large PC cluster (Beowulf) with 151 processors and 76 Gb of RAM. It is based upon a weak formulation of the equations of motion and combines the flexibility of a finite-element method with the accuracy of a pseudospectral method. The finite-element mesh honors all discontinuities in the Earth velocity model. To maintain a relatively constant number of grid points per seismic wavelength, the size of the elements is increased with depth in a conforming fashion, thus retaining a diagonal mass matrix. The effects of attenuation and anisotropy are incorporated. We benchmark spectral-element synthetic seismograms against a normalmode reference solution for a spherically symmetric Earth velocity model. The two methods are in excellent agreement for all waves with periods greater than 20 seconds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2001 ACM/IEEE Conference on Supercomputing, SC 2001
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages1
ISBN (Electronic)158113293X
StatePublished - Nov 10 2001
Externally publishedYes
Event2001 ACM/IEEE Conference on Supercomputing, SC 2001 - Denver, United States
Duration: Nov 10 2001Nov 16 2001

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Conference on Supercomputing


Conference2001 ACM/IEEE Conference on Supercomputing, SC 2001
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Computer Science


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