This research focuses on developing computational techniques and high-performance tools for societally relevant problems involving wave propagation in earthquake dynamics and volcano seismology. Increasingly, the hazard associated with these geophysical processes is being informed by detailed modeling of the underlying physical processes. This is computationally challenging due to the coupled multiphysics nature of the problem, existence of many temporal and spatial scales, and the large simulation volumes compared to the small-scale processes that need to be resolved. Additional constraints are placed on the numerical methods by the heterogeneous material properties in the earth and structural complexities such as topography and fault networks.
A computational framework for seismic wave propagation in complex geometries will be developed. This will extend the P.I.?s newly developed, provably stable high-order finite difference method and multi-block grids using coupled structured and unstructured grids. These tools will be used for problems in earthquake dynamics and volcano seismology, but can be extended to other problems involving wave propagation (e.g., seismic imaging, fracture mechanics, and enhanced geothermal energy production).
An adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) code will be developed for the simulation of large magnitude earthquakes using unaltered laboratory measured friction law parameters. Such studies are necessary to understand the effect of altering friction parameters as is routinely done in scenario earthquake simulations. AMR is required as the simulation volume is hundreds of thousands of cubic kilometers, with resolution, at the mm scale, needed in a few percent of the domain near the propagating rupture tip, i.e., transition from locked to sliding on the fault.
Additionally, the P.I. will assist in advising of students, participate in course development, and lecture on topics in computational science.