As recent events in Haiti, Chile and Turkey have demonstrated, earthquakes can have devastating effect. Those living in the Asia-Pacific are well aware of this. Lying on the so-called “Ring of Fire”, countries such as Taiwan are at high risk of natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, and tsunamis. Today researchers at the International Symposium on Grid Computing, ISGC 2010, have gathered to share their experience of mitigating such disasters.
“Earthquake prediction is an unsolved problem. But using data gathered by seismometers we are able to predict ground motion and reduce the damage. Providing access to earthquake data will help the Asia-Pacific to be better prepared when an earthquake strikes - the more information we have, the better.” says Li Zhao from the Institute of Earth Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei.
“Our dream is to have an integrated regional data centre for the Asia-Pacific, which is accessible for scientists to study the earth nature.” says Wen-Tzong Liang also of the Institute of Earth Sciences. This could improve scientist's knowledge of earthquakes and the earth's interior, providing information for engineers to design and reinforce buildings appropriately as well as teaching citizens how to respond when an earthquake strikes.
In order for such a network to be successful, data needs to be gathered from countries across the Asia-Pacific, not just those that are prone to earthquakes. The team at Academia Sinica, led by Bor-Shouh Huang, have already started tackling this problem. In the last two years they have set up ten new stations along the Vietnamese coast, and are set to deploy even more in the Philippines.
These seismic stations will produce real-time data continuously for any local data centre to monitor earthquake activity in this region. Giving scientists wider access to the archived data can help them predict what will happen when an earthquake strikes and understand what the earth structure is below the surface.
“We use computers to simulate wave propagation so if there's an earthquake in Taiwan we can determine how much the earth will shake anywhere in the world.” says Li Zhao from the Institute of Earth Sciences, Academia Sinica. “Using archived data records we can investigate the structure inside the earth, and if we know this we can better predict the ground motion. For example Taipei lies in a basin – the ground is covered by a soft sedimentary layer. So if an earthquake happens, Taipei will experience a higher motion than the surrounding area, a process called amplification.”
To set up this network, researchers are hoping grid technologies can provide robust and reliable ways to transmit and store data. They have already turned to grid computing to help analyse the data itself.
“The most important ground motion is in the frequency of a few Hertz, so the higher the frequency the more realistic the prediction is. But doing calculations at very high frequency requires a lot of computing power. Grid technology gives any researcher with an internet connection a way to run simulations for any earthquake they wish to study.” says Zhao. Zhao demonstrated a new gateway which gives scientists easy access to a grid-based simulator at an ISGC 2010 workshop earlier this week.
Predicting unpredictability: Information theory offers new way to read ice cores
07.12.2016 | Santa Fe Institute
Sea ice hit record lows in November
07.12.2016 | University of Colorado at Boulder
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
08.12.2016 | Life Sciences
08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences