Supercomputer simulation of the 2010 M8.8 Maule, Chile earthquake

Supercomputer simulation of the 2010 M8.8 Maule, Chile earthquake

This simulation shows the passage of seismic waves from the M8.8 earthquake which occurred off the coast of central Chile at 06:34 UTC on February 27, 2010. 

It was the sixth largest earthquake ever recorded by a seismograph. Its intense shaking lasted for about three minutes.

The quake was strongly felt in six Chilean regions (from Valparaíso in the north to Araucanía in the south), that together make up about 80% of the country's population. 

The tsunami triggered by the earthquake devastated several coastal towns in south-central Chile and damaged the port at Talcahuano. Tsunami warnings were issued in 53 countries, and the wave caused minor damage in the San Diego area of California and in the Tōhoku region of Japan. 

The earthquake also generated a blackout that affected 93% of the Chilean population and which went on for several days in some locations. 

According to official sources, 525 people lost their lives, 25 people went missing and about 9% of the population in the affected regions lost their homes. 

Video courtesy of Stephen Hicks

The simulation was calculated on the UK Research Council's Archer high performance computing cluster. Research was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

Simulation was made using the SPEFEM3D wave propagation algorithm. Rupture model from Anthony Sladen (California Institute of technology): http://tectonics.caltech.edu/slip_his.... Seismic wave propagation is carried out in the 3-D velocity model of Hicks et al. (2014), Earth Planet. Sci. Lett.

Featured image credit: Stephen Hicks

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