Bozdag contributes to revolutionary 3D model of Earth's interior

Ebru Bozdag, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geophysics, is working with an international team of researchers to develop better models of the Earth’s interior. These models will help scientists understand the layers of the earth and how the inner workings of the planet affect the life upon it.

From the story:

Seismologists usually use a technique known as seismic tomography, similar to a CAT scan of the human body, to map our planet’s inner structure.

However, classical tomography cannot fully capture the complexity of seismic waves, says Ebru Bozdag of the Colorado School of Mines.

“However, we had to wait about 25 years for advancements in high-performance computing to perform seismic tomography based on 3D wave simulations,” Bozdag says, “and more than 30 years to image Earth’s interior globally.”

The computational demands of waveform data analysis have been a challenge for scientists. Bozdag and her team originally used a CPU version of the SPECFEM3D_GLOBE that was developed in 2002, before accessing the 18,688 GPUs on the Titan supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The rise of technology and high-performance computing has certainly made Bozdag’s team’s work of mapping the Earth’s interior easier, and the research shows promise for scientists seeking solutions for predicting natural disasters such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.