National Institute for Computational Sciences News

Kraken Refining Earthquake Models

Californian and Swiss researchers have been using the Kraken supercomputer to model what would happen if a major earthquake hit the southern portion of the San Andreas Fault. The entire fault extends more than 800 miles, from San Francisco to Southern California. What makes these researchers’ work different from previous studies is that they’ve factored in “nonlinear behavior of rocks”—a phenomenon that could reduce the velocity of ground motion predicted by previous computer models.

Supercomputer Research Sheds Light on the Death of Stars

Supernovae exhibit the most-energetic explosions, dispersing elements that make life possible into the universe. However, the energy source for the violent death of these massive stars is not known. Researchers using UT’s Kraken supercomputer have created three-dimensional simulations that have made great strides in uncovering the source.

Researchers Use Kraken to Understand Weather and Climate

NOAA-winter-storm

Severe weather raises questions about the phenomena that cause it. The answer to all questions is atmospheric conditions. The atmosphere consists of varying layers of gases or fluid structures. Researchers at the National Institute for Computational Sciences are using the supercomputing power of UT’s Kraken to model how the structures interact to help prepare accurate weather forecasts and climate predictions.

UT Team Heads to Supercomputing Competition

A team of four UT students along with a student from Hardin Valley Academy and Oak Ridge High School are heading to Denver to compete in the SC!13′s international student supercomputing cluster competition. The competition is designed to introduce the next generation of students to the high powered computing community.

Supercomputer Work Makes Stride in Biofuels Research

Cellulase enzymes found in nature from sources such as wood-degrading fungi or in cows’ stomach compartments form one of the key catalysts for breaking down plant biomass to make biofuels. But, they remain quite expensive. Compute allocations from the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) have made a breakthrough possible that could have big cost implications.

Supercomputing Research to Help Make Recommendations University Library Users

Researchers using the supercomputing resources at the National Institute for Computational Sciences are investigating a way to recommend sources for users at university libraries. The result would be similar to the “recommender system” at Amazon.com which prioritizes descriptive information based on social behavior.

Researchers Use Supercomputing Power to Simulate Supercell Thunderstorms

Tornado forecasting remains a persistent challenge. Researchers using supercomputers at the National Institute for Computational Sciences are trying to change this. Modest hardware enables researchers to simulate a supercell, said the researchers, but supercomputers can run at a high enough resolution to properly capture tiny features associated with the tornado itself.

Researchers Use Supercomputer to Map the Earth’s Magnetosphere to Predict and Prepare for Space Weather Events

The Earth has a shield which can protect it from damaging solar particles. However, this shield can be infiltrated and the result can be a disruption of power grids and communications networks, and radiation on Earth. Researchers using supercomputers at the National Institute for Computational Sciences are creating a topological map of Earth’s magnetosphere, allowing them to closely study how space weather affects our magnetosphere.