In the fall of 2017, geology professor Patricia Gregg and her team set up a new volcano forecast modeling program on the Blue Waters and iForge supercomputers. Simultaneously, another team was monitoring activity at the Sierra Negra volcano in Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands. Colgate University’s Dennis Geist, one of the scientists on the Ecuador project, contacted Greg, and what followed was an accidental forecast five months before the June 2018 Sierra Negra eruption.
Initially developed on an iMac computer, the new modeling approach had already attracted attention for successfully reconstructing the unexpected eruption of Alaska’s Okamok volcano in 2008. Greg’s team was based at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. To test the model’s new high-performance computing upgrade, and Geist’s Sierra Negra observations showed signs of an impending eruption.
“Sierra Negra is a well-behaved volcano,” said Greg, lead author of a new report on the successful effort. “This means that, prior to eruptions in the past, the volcano has shown all the telltale signs of eruption that we would expect to see like groundwells, gas releases and increased seismic activity. This characteristic gave the Sierra Negra the basis for our advanced model. Made a great test case.”
However, many volcanoes do not follow these well-established patterns, the researchers said. Predicting eruptions is one of the major challenges in volcanology, and the development of quantitative models to help with these difficult scenarios is the focus of Gregg and his team’s work.
During the 2017-18 winter break, Greg and his colleagues ran the Sierra Negra data through a new supercomputing-driven model. They completed the run in January 2018 and, even though it was meant as a test, it provided a framework for understanding the Sierra Negra’s eruption cycles and evaluating the potential and timing of future eruptions—but no one has yet. Didn’t even realize it.
“Our model predicted that the strength of the Sierra Negra’s magma chambered rocks would become very unstable sometime between June 25 and July 5, and would likely result in mechanical failure And later explosion, said Greg, who is also an NCSA faculty fellow. “We presented this findings at a scientific conference in March 2018. After that, we got busy with other work and didn’t look at our model again until Dennis texted me on June 26, telling me that Asking to confirm the date we anticipated. Sierra Negra erupted a day after our earliest predicted mechanical failure date. We were floored.”
While this represents an ideal scenario, the researchers said, the study shows the power of incorporating high-performance supercomputing into applied research. “The advantage of this advanced model is the ability to continuously assimilate multidisciplinary, real-time data and process it rapidly to provide daily forecasts similar to weather forecasts,” said co-author Yan Zhan, a former Illinois graduate student and co-author. Is.” study. “It takes an incredible amount of computing power previously unavailable to the volcano forecasting community.”
Producing a modeling program of this strength required a highly multidisciplinary approach to bringing in moving parts, which Greg’s team did not have access to when working with NCSA.
“We all speak the same language when it comes to the numerical multiphysics analysis and high-performance computing needed to predict mechanical failure,” said Ceed Couric, NCSA’s technical assistant director, a research professor. Further study co-author of Mechanical Science and Engineering.
With Couric’s expertise, the team said they look forward to joining artificial intelligence and machine learning in predictive models to help make this computing power available to researchers working from standard laptop and desktop computers.
The results of the study have been published in the journal science advance,
Patricia M. Greg, Mechanical failure forecast and June 26, 2018 eruption of the Sierra Negra volcano, Galapagos, Ecuador, science advance (2022). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abm4261, www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abm4261
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Citation: Successful predictions of volcanic eruptions from great timing and supercomputer upgrades (2022, June 3) Retrieved on June 6, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-06-great-supercomputer-successful-volcanic-eruption.html have gotten.
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