Skip to main content

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.

Such behavior is well established in earthquake research and routinely considered in engineering seismology equations, but until this recent research was done with Kraken, it was not factored into computer simulations.

The researchers said their study “shows a way forward for more-accurate earthquake scenarios.”

Read more about the research at the National Institute for Computational Sciences.