Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UK e-Science project discovers new knowledge about earthquakes

24.11.2005


A UK e-Science project is revealing new scientific insights into earthquakes. Technologies developed under the Discovery Net project are enabling geophysicists to combine two different methods of studying earthquakes and so discover new knowledge that would not have been revealed using one method alone.



A previously unsuspected secondary fault associated with an earthquake in the Kunlun Mountains in South-West China has already come to light. Discovery Net was one of six finalists in the HPC Analytics Challenge at the SC05 supercomputing conference in Seattle last week.

One of the methods uses satellite images to reveal land movement on scales from tens of metres to hundreds of kilometres – the ‘macro’ view. The other uses finite element analysis to model the response of brick-sized volumes of rock to stresses and strains and then add them up to build a picture of likely land movement in the event of an earthquake – the ’micro’ view. Finite element analysis is often used to predict earthquake damage to buildings.


Discovery Net researchers at Imperial College, London, have combined these two approaches using InforSense KDE, a workflow-based integrative analytics platform originally developed under Discovery Net and brought to the commercial market by InforSense, a spin-out company from the Department of Computer Science at Imperial College.

For the macro view, they used satellite images of a large earthquake that occurred in an uninhabited region of the eastern Kunlun mountains in China in 2001. Civil engineers from the University of Oklahoma, US did the finite element analysis to give the micro view.

“We wanted to look at the same problem from different perspectives and bridge the gap so we would know how our models translated to their models,” says Dr Moustafa Ghanem from Imperial College. “We wanted to show how workflow analytics can be used to rapidly combine research techniques which, until recently, were impossible to combine.”

InforSense KDE enables researchers to bridge such gaps by building complex analytic workflows that integrate access to data, software and other services held remotely. Workflows can be stored and audited for re-use by the originator or others via web services, portlets or other visual desktop applications.

“Before Discovery Net, you would have to move the output from one analysis to the next by saving it in a file and moving it to another machine. Now, you can run analyses with complex analytic workflows that coordinate the execution of distributed services. Using grid technologies, the data and analytic components used in the data mining - and the workflows themselves - can be distributed all over the world,” says Dr Ghanem.

The initial input into the Kunlun earthquake analysis was a map of land displacement which the Discovery Net team had generated from satellite images taken before and after the quake. The Oklahoma team used this map to create the initial conditions for their finite element analysis and then to modify their model until it produced the deformation actually seen in a small area of the earthquake region.

“With the refined model, we were able to predict the secondary fault and then find it in the images. We couldn’t have done this with the image analysis alone – but we could when we combined it with the microanalysis,” says Dr Ghanem.

Further use of Discovery Net technology for geohazard modelling could be used to build up a comprehensive geological fault line map of the earth, with areas of elevated tension detailed and annotated with models from research groups from all over the world, say the Discovery Net team.

Contacts
Dr Moustafa Ghanem, Imperial College London tel. 07961 133720, e-mail: mmg@doc.ic.ac.uk

Professor Yike Guo, Imperial College London tel. 020 594 8335, e-mail: yg@doc.ic.ac.uk

Judy Redfearn, e-Science/e-research Communications Officer, EPSRC, tel. 07768 356309, e-mail: judy.redfearn@epsrc.ac.uk

Judy Redfearn | alfa
Further information:
http://www.discovery-on-the.net/
http://www.inforsense.com/
http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/escience.

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht In times of climate change: What a lake’s colour can tell about its condition
21.09.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

nachricht Did marine sponges trigger the ‘Cambrian explosion’ through ‘ecosystem engineering’?
21.09.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam - Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fraunhofer ISE Pushes World Record for Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cells to 22.3 Percent

25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance

25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine

An international team of physicists a coherent amplification effect in laser excited dielectrics

25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>