Washington: Computer scientists at the University of Edinburgh have developed a system that will help them understand how earthquakes travel in the Earth’s structure and cause damage.
A clear picture of this structure would be extremely valuable to earthquake planners, but it requires the analysis of huge amounts of data.
The problem with earthquakes is their unpredictability.
“You can use noise to analyse the Earth’s structure, but you need to analyse huge amounts of data and that’s nearly impossible on standard [computers]” explained Andreas Rietbrock.
Orfeus asked the Rapid team to develop a system that would allow any seismologist to analyse seismic data using powerful computers located around Europe. The web portal takes the entire complex computing needed for seismic analysis and hides it behind a standard web browser.
By making this analysis easy, Rapid and Orfeus have brought complex research programmes into the hands of many more seismologists. More seismologists working together means that results are produced faster, and that means we could soon benefit from a better understanding of the ground beneath our feet.