Computational Seismology Laboratory


The Quake Group is an effort led by researchers at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in partnership with participants from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon, and in collaboration with the Community Modeling Environment Group at the Southern California Earthquake Center.

Our research focuses on the study of earthquake impacts at scale, using physics-based, deterministic (finite-element) simulation techniques. Our goal is to develop the capability for predicting, by computer simulation, the ground response during strong seismic events, and to use this capability to study the seismic behavior of large urban regions prone to earthquakes. We do not aim at predicting earthquakes. We are rather interested in predicting which areas will experience stronger shaking in densely populated regions during large magnitude earthquakes, and in predicting the impact that strong ground motion may have on urban infrastructure such as buildings and lifelines. We are particularly interested in characterizing wave propagation and amplification effects in sedimentary basins, in time and frequency. We pursue these and other related goals in an end-to-end, multi-scale concept—from the seismic source to the response of man-made structures, and with a multi-disciplinary approach that covers aspects of seismology, geophysics, and geotechnical and structural earthquake engineering, using high-performance parallel-computing applications.

Our projects have been supported with awards from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Geological Survey, and through our collaborations with the Southern California Earthquake Center.